Damian S. L. Yeo & L. C. Goh (DSLY)
No. 2007, Lorong Sidang Omar, off Jalan Penghulu Abbas, Bukit Baru, Hang Tuah Jaya, 75100 Melaka

Tel : 06-2347011
& 06-2347012
Fax: 06-2347022


Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Audacity of Hope...

I was reading the President-elect NY best seller. The book that sourced from the keynote address he gave in the Democratic National Convention endorsing the then Democrat presidential contender, John Kerry in 2004. Barack Obama at that time was an Illinois State Senator who had just won the primary victory to the United States Senate and was then a junior United States Senator (Note : Mr. Obama resigned today -16th November 2008)

I was challenged to read his book recently by a member of the Malacca Bar. I bought it like six months ago after watching him closely neck to neck against Hillary Clinton, of course history war rewrote and now America has an African-American President hopefully uniting the United States of America.

In fact to this date, in the United States Senate of a hundred senators, there are only three Hispanics, two Asian Americans from Hawaii, and the famed Senator President-elect Barack Obama.

Further, all US Supreme Court Justices were white until the appointment of Thurgood Marshall in 1967. And after Marshall's appointment was succeeded by the current Clarence Thomas. Of the 110 justices that was appointed since Day-1, 108 have been white i.e. 98%. In fact it was since George J W Bush administration (the 42nd President), Hispanic judge was considered in the selection process.

It is also noted that President Bush Jr. appointed Colin Powell in 2001 as the first African American to be Secretary of State. And mind you that Mr. Powell was the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during Desert Storm. And became the only African American holding that position.

This great nation has gone a long way since the Constitution was written and though in 1964 Civil Rights Act, prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin by federal and state governments as well as some public places, the minorities were still in many ways discriminated and segregated through unwritten policies, conventions and characters and habits. Like ol’ Mick Jagger once sing “Old Habits Die Hard”.

For example, as stated in his book, the President-elect states that in today’s America such prejudices are far more loosely held than they once were – and hence subject to refutation. A black teenage boy walking down the street may elicit fear in a white couple, but if he turns out to be their son’s friend from school he may be invited over for dinner…

As such I was in fact very skeptical about whether the whites will vote for Obama as President. So I was watching closely, and deeply to my surprise, white males gave Obama about 44% of the total votes compare to McCain a 55%. Of course more than 98% African-American voted for Obama. So with white support, a landslide victory is inevitable.

Whatever said, the United States of America will experience a dream come true come 20th January 2009, when Barack Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States. It will be a manifestation of a dream and a completion of strength of this great nation. As spoken by his truly that founded this book, Audacity of Hope, he declared in 2004,

"There's not a liberal America and a conservative America—there's the United States of America."

And he further emphasized…

"We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the red states. We coach Little League in the blue states, and yes, we've got some gay friends in the red states. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the Stars and Stripes, all of us defending the United States of America."

Those words were emphatic and firmed. Those words change America in a right direction.

So what it is for Malaysia?

So long as the constitution does not restrict the race of a Malaysian Prime Minister, a minority can be the Chief Executive. Of course like what Tun Mahatir says or is it Pak Lah, so long as the majority of people are happy that a minority be appointed as Prime Minister, then the Malaysian dream will be a reality or it will be just a fantasy due to Obama-mania.

Though the US election is gone and over, it will always strike a chord amongst Malaysians, bumiputra or non bumiputra. I believe since the March general election, Malays in the city and towns voted for a secular representative in DAP and the rural and city Chinese voted for PAS’ Islam for All, I see the audacity of hope in Malaysia. The Chinese and the Indians no more fear PAS and in fact, the support for PAS amongst the Indians are growing. Evidenced was when I was asked to ceramah with PAS representative in the rural of Malacca state, I found many Indians sitting around hearing us talking.

So will Malaysia allowed and welcome those change to seep into our system and not just immediately cry SENSATIVE or ISA the moment a discussion on race and religion is deliberated and openly discuss. I am all for the discussion of all issues to further understand and harmonized all Malaysians. But will this be anytime soon. Maybe not for another hundred years.

The Americans took 300 years to fulfill a dream that was once dreamt by a prominent Civil Right leader in the 60s.

I have a hope for Malaysia and that one day, a declaration similar to Obama, "There's not a secular Malaysia and a conservative Malaysia - there's a Malaysia.

source : Audacity of Hope, Wikipedia

No comments: