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.