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My Obama dream for Malaysia

Around 11am this morning, as the final polls in the US Presidential elections closed, I sat in front of my laptop watching the live coverage of the US Presidential election. As the California polls closed, Barack Obama was declared as the 44th President of the United States (Malaysiakini report).

At that moment, I started to become teary. "The politics of racial grievances has died tonight!" bellowed one political commentator. America has managed to ignore and put aside its ugly and violent racial past, its dark ages of slavery, of the Confederacy and the civil war, of the Jim Crowe segregation laws, to elect an African American, a black man to the post of the President of the United States. I wept because at that instance, I saw hope in humans, that they are fundementally not racist, and that a nation of predominant whites can elect a black man to the post of the most powerful man in the world. I wept because from this remarkable victory I saw a simmilar glimmer of hope in my beloved country of Malaysia.

I wept because I saw hope that all human beings, be it Americans or Malaysians, can ignore racial lines and vote for a person, not because of his skin colour or race, but for his attributes and conduct. I optimistically hope that what I see today in America, one day, I can see in Malaysia. I hope that one day, words like Ketuanan Melayu and the NEP can be washed from our vocabulary and we can join America in becoming the land of freedom and liberty, where we elect people not based on their race or skin colour, but based on their attributes, their conduct, their worth. I hope that one day, Malaysia can have its Barack Obama.

Like Martin Luther King, I have a dream. My dream is that one day, I can bellow the same line I heard today: that "the politics of racial grievances has died in Malaysia! The politics of racial grienvances has finally died!"

This is my dream, and today has given me hope that I can achieve it one day.

Yes we can. Yes, Malaysia, we can!

(Malaysiakini's other report)