Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A moral victory for minorities

A dream fulfilled

Today history has been made in a land far away from ours. The illustrious son of a once enslaved race was elected as the President of the most powerful nation on earth. It was a proud moment not just for the person elected and for the community he comes from but above for the nation itself which practices democracy.

Nearly 150 years ago Abraham Lincoln passed a law to abolish slavery in a land of freedom, America. He said “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure; permanently half slave and half free”. He went against all odds to do something right, by doing so he could have lost his life, but he became one of the greatest presidents of United States America.
45 years ago Martin Luther King Jr.proclaimed “I have a dream that one day the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that my children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Today the bold action of Lincoln had produced the desired result. The dreams of Luther has become a reality.Yes,a son of a former enslaved race has become the 44th president of the USA, in the person of Barrack Obama.

Obama’s victory is not just a personal one for him and his community but his nation as well which a regarded as a beacon of democracy. It is also a moral victory for the minorities in all countries across the globe especially for those who are marginalized and deprived of their legitimate rights.

The election of Obama as the first black American to the White House is a much needed moral booster for the US, whose integrity and reputation as the leader of the free world has suffered over the last decade or so. With Obama’s win the US may have a greater moral authority to preach freedom and human rights to oppressive governments all over the world.

About 80% of all voters said ethnicity was not a factor in their choice of their president. The interesting thing about this election was that Obama obtained the votes from all ethnic groups including whites as only about 13% of the population is made up of Black Americans. Black Americans in general belong to the poorer segment of American society with poorer health, higher unemployment and crime rates. Electing a member from such a minority group as their president speaks volumes for race relations in that country.

We hope what happened in US will be an example for all countries with diverse ethnic population especially those that profess to practice democracy. The US remains a superpower because of its open policy where all citizens regardless of race are given equal opportunities to contribute to the development of the nation.

We want too can become a successful nation like the US if adopt the right approach and tap the potentials of all the races. We too should share a common dream, a dream that one day Malaysia becomes a developed nation by the whole hearted contribution of all its citizens regardless of ethnicity, a day when all communities are accepted as equal and every citizen feels equally proud to be called Malaysian.

It is time for leaders at all levels to listen to the people and act to promptly to realize these dreams of all Malaysians. We too have a Prime Minister-elect,Datuk Seri Najib Razak.Will he be able to create history by initiating the dawn of a new Malaysia where all races can work together hand in hand without fear or suspicion to realize our Malaysian dream?

Dr.Chris Anthony

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