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Premier slogans

“I pledge that I will work tirelessly to serve all of you. I urge us to rise to the challenge of building a One Malaysia. People First. Performance Now.”

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in his inaugural address as premier. Najib emphasised the need to prioritise performance, “because the people must come first” (Source: PM Najib’s maiden speech: ‘One Malaysia. People First. Performance Now.’, The Star, 3 April 2009).

The “1Malaysia” catch-phrase has become a target of satire — most notably in “1BLACKMalaysia” — reflecting suspicion in the Malaysian public that the slogan will remain a slogan, without any real change.

“Work with me, not for me.”

Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Source: Thumbs up for 1Malaysia, The Star, 5 April 2009).

In 2004, during his administration, Abdullah popularised Islam Hadhari, a moderate brand of Islam “that emphasises development consistent with the tenets of Islam and focuses on enhancing the quality of life”. Islam Hadhari attracted criticism from religious quarters who disputed the need to re-brand Islam; secular proponents questioned the need to further institutionalise Islam.

The “work with me, not for me” slogan has been cited in post-mortems of Abdullah’s five-year-long tenure, usually in the context of potential and promises not fulfilled.

“Bersih, Cekap, Amanah”

A slogan first used in 1982, during Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s administration. “Bersih, Cekap, Amanah” (“Clean, Efficient, Trustworthy”) was the precursor to 1983’s “Kepimpinan Melalui Teladan” (“Leadership by Example”) campaign (Source: Bersih, Cekap dan Amanah, Pusat Maklumat Rakyat).

“Bersih”, in the campaign, meant “to have high morals, to be courteous and disciplined, and not embezzle or take bribes”. The Mahathir era has become proverbial for systematic corruption.

Mahathir also gave Malaysia Wawasan 2020

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