Thursday, November 06, 2008

America dares to dream - we prefer half-truths

Hi Friends,

I was just as skeptical as the next guy that Barrack Obama could actually do it.

Despite polls that showed him miles ahead, there was always the niggling feeling that race would be such an overriding factor and that somehow, when the white voter ( who forms the majority) faced the ballot paper alone behind the curtain, his deep-seated prejudices would resurface and the 44th POTUS (President of the US) would be white and not black.

However, America has confirmed to me that it is truly a Land of Opportunity- a country where dreams do come true.

America is by no means a perfect nation- the poor sometimes cannot afford basic healthcare whilst the rich live in their own world of yachts and private jets.

Critics will continue to say that its politics is too divisive and that it takes too long and requires too much money to find her elected leaders; but Obama’s election shows to the world the real meaning of democracy.

In the Land of the Free, anyone can be at the pinnacle. So long as he (or she) is able to infect others with his ideas and enthusiasm. Able to galvanize ordinary folks and convince them that change is not to be feared but is inevitable and to be grasped by the horns.

I am happy for America but have mixed feelings about my Singapore.

We are told (and many believe) that Singapore is not ready to accept a minority-race Prime Minister. That deep inside each one of us dwells a racist who cannot see beyond the colour of the skin.

We are told (and many believe) that Singapore is not ready for change. That the status quo is best. That deep inside each of us dwells an apathetic and contented citizen too lazy to consider better ways of doing things and to break out from our comfort zones.

But the late David Saul Marshall, a Jew, was Singapore’s first Chief Minister.

And Barrack Obama, an African-American who had the audacity to dream and hope, has become the next President of the United States.
Whilst we continue to believe half-truths.

Dr.Huang Shoou Chyuan


tewniaseng said...

People have no problems about having minority candidate as a PM.Because PM is selected by Pap CEC, we dont have a say.Pap would not listen to us.

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans are ready for a Change which is long overdue but the MM, PM and SM are not.

The next candidate for the President of Singapore must deeply feel beholden to the MM, PM and SM b4 he or she will be selected for the post.

Poor peasants over here have no say on it. The selection process is so complicated and complex that common peasants will never understand the beauty of it just like the GIC and Temasek in all her lost making overseas invesments.

joe said...

Singapore appears to be a democracy, but is it really one?

A true leader looks after the people and not the party.

clear the garbage said...

the MM and his stooges do not want a change for the country, it will affect their comfortable position and corporate style of governance.

this is evident by their behaviour and the system put in place.

a concerted effort by the majority of Singaporeans to vote the incumbents out is the only solution.

laws can be put in place so that for certain issues that affect the public, such laws can only be changed by a referendum.
example, free speech and right of assembly, elections system, limit the term of any PM, selection of the judiciary etc, etc.

nofearSingapore said...


I see hope in our young people.

These same young people who started TOC and stuck through it amidst criticism that it is too pro-PAP or too pro-opposition .

Our young people do not have any role models. The only political leaders role models they have grown up seeing are the same ones earning 1-2 million dollars annually. No wonder our young people become cynical and skeptical.

I do not say that all our leaders are doing it for the money- I am sure some of them would willingly sacrifice their career propects for a fraction of what they are getting- in order to serve the people of Singapore. But why do they need these outrageous remunerations? Is it because the altruistic leaders are only a small minority and the rest have to be enticed with money?

In politics, McCain ( whom I still admire) knows, you win some – you lose some. Mc Cain knows that Obama would not come for him with a sledge-hammer for saying all those things in the election rallies. They will still shake hands and have a measure of mutual respect when they next meet in the corridors of power. And McCain would do his damnest to help America great again – with president Obama in the White House.

Why then did JBJ get hounded from pillar to post. Why did JBJ lose his seat in parliament? Lose this lawyer’s license? Lose his bungalow in Singapore and his house in JB? Lose the dignity when he was alive only to be restored when he laid silent after his heart-beat had ceased?

Why can’t we agree to disagree and that there are many ways to view a problem?

That there are many ways to love Singapore? Many ways to serve Singapore?

It would be too presumptuous to expect a “Butterfly effect” – when a flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Pennsylvia Ave would cause a tornado ( or tsunami) in our knack of the woods.


Anonymous said...

The only thing that stands in the way of the Pennsylvania Ave 'butterfly' effect is our VOTE.
Even though in the next GE, I don't expect the Opposition to have enough to form the next Govt., we, the citizens of Singapore, MUST TAKE THAT FIRST STEP TO CHANGE. CHANGE we must, our Constitution, our Values, our Believes, our NATION. This country is just one giant corporation where the Board has the shareholders locked up in the back room.
The SS

joe said...

It would be too presumptuous to expect a “Butterfly effect” – when a flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Pennsylvia Ave would cause a tornado ( or tsunami) in our knack of the woods.

The butterfly there will not cause a tornado (or tsunami), but it will force people to ask the question "what is Singapore?".

It will make "certain quarters" work harder to "dilute" the effects of the butterfly. In fact, it has already started.

tony said...

It's been fun watching Obamamania sweep the planet and to see an African-American being elected President, but is that the issue?

What matters now is what Obama will do? Will he pull American forces out of Iraq and Afghanistan as promised? Will poor Americans get better health care? What have his corporate masters in store for him?

The Greatest Show on Earth has come to an end; let's see what happens when the hangover has dissipated.

tewniaseng said...

our politicians are more like "xiao ren",can't take criticism,use defamations to cripple the oppositions,do bad things more than good things,narrow hearts,money face,everything they say are right, what we say is wrong, don't accept our suggestions.....many more, how to compare with Americans politicians ? They are really gentlemen.

SHIMURE said...

History has been made with America's new president....
Yet time and actions with prove whether he is up to his word....
It is often easy to speak and more often not to follow up words with action.
"WALK the talk...."

Change is in the air....

It is in everything and everywhere.

In the 21st century it will come faster than ever....

In an ever changing world...

Singapore needs much change to survive....

Our leaders, locked up in ivory towers, will need to be much changed in order to meet the current trends of the world....

It would be a new rush in technologies, search for new energy sources, and medicines which will be coming about from these changes.