Advertising guru Lim Kok Wing has played down his new appointment as Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's public relations adviser as "nothing special", as it is one of his many government engagements.
“I’ve been working with the Malaysian government since 1974 on the New Economic Policy (NEP).
"My appointment serves as a continuation of the role that I play in supporting the government,” Lim is reported saying by The Star Online today.
Lim, who is known for his work in the advertising industry and for setting up the country's first creative arts university, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, said his new job is just one of many advisory tasks, including "anti-smoking, the Commonwealth Games, national unity and the goods and services tax” (GST).
“I work on public information campaigns to ensure the right message gets sent across to the people. We need to build a society of people who are of the same mind,” he is reported as saying.
Najib, who is increasingly coming under attack from within his own party ranks, was reported to have engaged Lim to assist in a nationwide campaign to boost his support.
The embattled prime minister has faced outright calls from his predecessor Dr Mahathir Mohamad to step down over numerous issues, including the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder and the financial imbroglio surrounding his pet project 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
While he emerged from last week's party leadership meeting claiming that Umno's supreme council was solidly behind him as prime minister, eyebrows were raised this week when a video of his deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin, calling for heads to roll over 1MDB stole the thunder from the Najib’s unveiling of the 11th Malaysia Plan.
News of Lim's new role as Najib's public relations adviser drew sarcasm from former Bar Council chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan, who said she would happily provide Najib advice free of charge .