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PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah today described the dissemination of accurate and reliable information to the public while the country is facing the threats of COVID-19 pandemic as a major success of the Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) during his first 100 days of helming the ministry.

He said the success was made possible by the great communication plan as well as the regular and systematic announcements that the ministry proposed to the National Security Council (MKN) under its #Komunikasikita initiative.

Saifuddin said among the methods proposed was the periodical communication, which was divided into health and non-health matters, by only two official spokespersons.

“This is to the extent of having the people knowing exactly the time when Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Senior Minister of Defence and Security Cluster) will appear on TV, to see the motive of design on his batik shirt.

“And the exact time for Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (Health director-general) to appear later, with his (COVID-19) statistics for the day.

“Those (daily conferences) are not impromptu. They were properly planned right from day one. Now that there is no daily press conference, we already heard people said that they miss it,” he said when tabling his 100 Days Report Card here today.

Saifuddin said the KKMM had also set up the COVID-19 War Room, which began operations on March 18 and had produced 82 media reports for MKN’s consideration in the formulation of strategies to address COVID-19 in the country.

Saifuddin said the KKMM’s Quick Response Team had also rebutted 338 fake news related to COVID-19 which could cause anxiety to the public.

“In some cases, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the police will definitely take action against the perpetrators of fake news, but in other cases, false information might delay the action and end up with no case, so they have to be clarified,” he said.

The minister said KKMM had also made a huge contribution to the effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 by developing the MySejahtera and Gerak Malaysia applications, which had recorded 960,000 and 2.2 million downloads, respectively.

“MySejahtera app is working well and we hope more people will download and use it, and also for the use of the app to eventually be made mandatory in certain situation.

“There will be an announcement on that, on who should use MySejahtera app for travel. This has something to do with the reopening of the economic sectors,” he said.

Saifuddin said other initiatives implemented were the Info on Wheels programme by the Information Department which offers information on COVID-19 to the public at 39,433 locations across the country, and 44,644 daily news reports and public service announcements on local radio and television.

He said the KKMM had also carried out numerous other programmes including those offering job opportunities, developing the new normal to boost the economy and e-commerce, and strengthening the roles of 5G broadband technology in addressing COVID-19.

The minister said the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) had organised 3,800 courses with the global online learning platform, Coursera, which had benefitted 12,365 qualified non-working individuals.

Under the #DigitalvsCOVID campaign, 237 local technology companies had collaborated with MDEC to offer a discount on services rendered to small and medium-scale enterprises affected by the pandemic.

Saifuddin said the KKMM had also prepared the standard operating procedures to the participants of the gig economy and the procedures for handling customer’s personal data by business premises.

“COVID-19 has taught us about the real state of internet access across the country and the ministry is now giving priority to the issue to be resolved,” he added.

— BERNAMA



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