Ministers’ competency

I was touched by FMT’s Aidiladha video, showing a khat calligraphist drawing the greeting.

It depicts a thinking, multiracial team at FMT in how they interpret, improvise and translate a delicate political issue into a simple and acceptable narrative.

A picture paints a thousand words, so goes the common cliche. A video such as this goes much deeper and perhaps ridicules the ability of the current crop of ministers and politicians to deal with matters of racial and religious phobia.

It seems that the ability and perhaps competency of certain ministers and politicians, which has been highlighted before, is now being brought into sharper focus, yet again.

It reminds me of the many problems confronting the nation on the political, social and economic fronts, and how the present government communicates with the rakyat.

There is either a gap or a breakdown in the communication process, only the government knows. But there is a need to rectify those shortcomings.

Is there a specialist team to look into the various negative issues on behalf of the government? If there is, it is not doing a good job.

It appears that our ministers rely entirely on the prime minister to do the explaining, including defending them from public onslaught and criticism.

Is it the case of the chief cook having to answer every time a customer complains about bad food?

All ministers should have their own team of advisers or communication specialists who can tell them how to fight negative public repercussions.

Many of them have failed to demonstrate their proficiency in the subject matter of their ministries, let alone impress us with their level of competency and communication skills.

This is very strange indeed, given that they were already politicians before they were appointed as ministers.

Communication on policies between the government and the rakyat is quite different from political rallies. It calls for different skill sets and methods, as demonstrated by FMT’s Aidiladha video.

There is a role to be played by private sector communicators, and the ministers definitely have to engage them.

At the moment, there is widespread belief that some of our ministers do not possess ministerial capabilities and are not ministerial material in the first place.

After more than a year, some are still struggling with issues and problems confronting their respective ministries.

This was best summed up by Daim Zainuddin in his recent comments on government performance. And if I may add, if this is a case of the food no longer being good, or our palate demanding a change, perhaps our chief cook also needs a new kitchen Cabinet.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.