"1Malaysia: People First, Performance Now" is a good slogan.
First, it says there is one Malaysia - which is a very good starting point.
Second, it says put the people first - which means that the government and that includes the politicians and the Civil Service must put all the people first - which is certainly a noble point.
But to put it into action means dispensing with case by case consideration (apart for exceptional cases) and go for a rule-based system - a rule that applies to all.
Third, it says act now - which is good - but only if the government, including politicians and the Civil Service, are competent, if not experts in their jobs.
If not, instant action without competence will bring the society and economy to ruin - and this is where we could be as a result of past policy actions.
So far, we are only dealing with self-correction - in other words, for the government to get back to doing its job properly.
But what are those proper jobs. (The KPI Minister may have something to say on this.)
The most important task of the government today is to position the economy properly in the new international economic order.
Do we continue to squabble over history and tear down our own house - or do try to expand and strengthen our economic boundaries and compete in the world arena - or do we simply allow some low-ranking civil servants to let in the enemies through the back door while the top dogs play office politics?
The priority for the government is as follows:
1. Build confidence among the citizenry on the basis that this country wants and treasures them all. National peace and harmony and goodwill.
2. Encourage all citizens to invest in the future of this country - children's education, businesses.
3. Encourage all citizens to re-invest in the future of this country - bring back top students, build more businesses.
4. Provide technical assistance to all economically-disadvantaged citizens to help them participate fruitfully in the economic mainstream. Avoid political corruption of the economic system. There will be jobs for people to teach methods and systems to others.
5. Bring the best of the human capital to the top - regardless of race - so that the nation can compete with the best in the global economic arena. Chop off the link between the political elite and the business elite.
6. Ensure that politicians do not amass wealth while in office - yes, they have sworn to serve and survive on their official salaries - and their families too.
7. Provide a good social safety net for all citizens (not just politicians and civil servants) when they grow old or are incapacitated. This is the real "People First." If we don't, the whole nation is poorer by it.
8. Develop world-class universities and technical colleges in the country. Measure performances with peer-review researches, linkages to industry and success of students in getting jobs or finding useful occupations in society.
9. Institute the highest moral standards for all politicians and civil servants and other leaders. Integrity, diligence, charity.
10. Make sure existing infrastructure and mechanisms work smoothly.