welcome each other into our common space

bill-clintonEconomist Alan Greenspan who has worked with Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Reagan, George Bush senior, Bill CLinton and Bush Junior in his long span of public service, singles out Bill clinton and Richard Nixon as 2 of the most intelligent presidents.

When Bill Clinton took over the presidency in 1992, US economy was in a fairly bad shape. He managed to turn it around and presided over the longest period of continuous growth in US history.

I was fortunate to get a seat to listen to his lecture yesterday.

The central theme of his lecture is that the world is now more interdependent than any other period in history. People have to live with one another , and “divorce” is not an option, according to him. Success can no longer be measured by winners and losers.

He urged people to move towards removing their differences. He mentioned that scientists involved in genome mapping is debating whether the genetic makeup in human is 99.5% or 99.9% similar. To him, the distinctive features that diffferentiate individuals are due to less than one tenth of a percentage point of our genetic makeup; so in essence, humans are all alike.

He quoted Koran Bible, Buddhism to stress that we should discard our differences and instead care for the poor and downtrodden.

With half the world population living under US$2 a day, the world will not be sustainable if help is ot extended to this group of people. The world will not be sustainable if nothing is done to help the millions of HIV sufferers.

He was very touched by 2 Muslim ladies who came up to greet him while he was visiting our Aviary .  He said , and I quote, “if only everyone could look another person in their eye and welcome them to their common space, what a difference world we would have.”

I hope everyone of us can learn something from his message, which is so full of wisdom.

Are we able to do that, Malaysians? Can we look into the eyes of one another and welcome them into our common space, and stress more on what we have in common rather than our differences? 

If we can welcome each other into our common space, then it would not matter anymore  that we have differences in  skin colour , cultural upbringing, educational background; least of all, the form of exercise we perform .

This blog has always been trying to preach that we must be liberal minded, colourblind, and that human beings are basically the same except for small differences because of the prolonged exposure of our ancestors to our respective habitat. (pls read my article: Can Malaysians live that dream too?” )

California,  a State formerly dominated by White people, is now so cosmopolitan that there is no more majority race there. United States, in decades to come , would be a country without a majority race. If the whites can accept this diversity, why are we Malaysians still arguing about race and “supremacy”?

Why are politicans still stressing on our differences instead of asking people to welcome each other into their common space?

I ask all Malaysians to ponder about what Bill CLinton has said. The world is not going to be sustainable if we still treat each other as different species.

I ask those holding the realms of power, or those  aspiring to be one holding it, to ponder about what Bill Clinton said about welcoming each other into our common space.

 If these political heavyweights can put into practice these words of wisdom , then perhaps, Malaysia will be a better place for everyone .


22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. klm
    Dec 06, 2008 @ 17:10:29

    Bill Clinton is a smart person. However, he is associated with many shady characters. Unfortunately his messaged is marred by this relationship.

    Just like in Malaysia, the message cannot be separated from the company you keep.

    Dr. Hsu, I apologise for sounding negative.


  2. jughead
    Dec 06, 2008 @ 19:39:36

    Better get LKY to give a talk. He gives good economic, human relationship, race and country. He speaks from Asian perspective rather from the West


  3. nick
    Dec 06, 2008 @ 22:49:16

    A brilliant politician and a smooth talker but I wouldn’t trust any of my woman into his common space.


  4. romerz
    Dec 07, 2008 @ 02:03:50

    Sometimes I wonder what Malaysians expect. And our inability to distinguish between righteous thinking and those capable of such thinking.

    The truth is we are unable to accept wise words because those who said them happened to be human at one time or another. We tend to associate human personalities with inert words despite the fact that we would welcome such thoughts unreservedly if not for the history of the speaker.

    Politics in Malaysia have depended on personalities for far too long and it is about time we grow up.

    The government we get or expect is the government we deserve!


  5. klm
    Dec 07, 2008 @ 05:36:14

    dear romerz. did you realise that he was paid USD 200,000 to give that talk.

    Dont get me wrong. I admire Bill Clinton. Bit I dont agree to him sharing his “wisdom” for money.

    Wisdom come from sincerity and sharing from the heart. And the problem with Malaysian, just because he is a white man, we think he is great.

    My apology again.


  6. klm
    Dec 07, 2008 @ 06:16:34

    And by the way, Bill Clinton is a gifted politician of the first order. Read his autobiography. He knows how to handle people. He has charm and charisma.

    It is easy to be taken in by him. (I dont mean that in a bad way).


  7. klm
    Dec 07, 2008 @ 06:23:38

    Dr Hsu

    I dont quite agree with this statement:

    ” United States, in decades to come , would be a country without a majority race. If the whites can accept this diversity, why are we Malaysians still arguing about race and “supremacy”?”

    I dont think all the whites fully accept this diversity. Outside the cities and suburban areas, there are still resistance.

    The conservative base of the Republican is much like our UMNO. Sarah Palin appealed to this base.


  8. robertchai48
    Dec 07, 2008 @ 20:41:19

    We accept our diversity and multi racial composition. We need to be tolerant of each other in the society. Beside that we sensible leaders that can bring unity among Malaysians. What the rakyat want is bread and butter issues?


  9. Justin Choo
    Dec 07, 2008 @ 21:20:23

    I tend to agree with klm’s views in this regards. Why pay Clinton so much just to hear him speak? Beats me!!


  10. langchiapek
    Dec 07, 2008 @ 23:47:38

    Dr Hsu,

    While you are sitting side by side with Dr Lau Ah Chye, Lim Si Pin, Jayanthi and etc … so was Zaid Ibhrahim, Khary Jamaluddin and his pregnant wife, Nurrul Izzah Anwar Ibrahim and yours sincerely.

    William Jefferson Clinton is at least USD 200,000.00 richer for his short 1.5 hours appearance @ KLCC Center Court.

    His words is more valuable than diamonds.

    What he mentioned is indeed noble but easier said than done in this country of ours.

    His keyword in the speech was

    “Do not see how different we are, but what we are similar in.”

    With the dominant member of Barisan Nasional keep harping on “race by definition” as the key marketing point, there aint much chance of having an Obama type of change in this country.

    There are a few of true blue Malaysian in this country, the likes of DYMM Sultan Selangor and DYMM Dr Raja Nazrin would be the likes who can really help and guide the entire citizen of Malaysia to move forward.

    ethnic Melayu, ethnic Chinese, ethnic Indian, etcnic Kadazan Duzun, ethnic Iban and others lives in harmony in the country.

    It was only after a son of Mohamad Iskandar Kutty the balance had changed. He has since retired from government but his philosophy is further extended by his son.

    The party you are in collaborate with a racist party. That says alot about the credibility of your party and the party’s believes.

    Cakap Tak Serupa Bikin


  11. monsterball
    Dec 08, 2008 @ 00:56:16

    Mahathir paid US1 million to meet Bush.,1/2 hour.
    Dollah have to do one better than M….before he goes.
    Yes…Clinton is another two timer….but at least he has the guts to admit he did lie…about his love affair.
    Here..UMNO guys…die die never admit anything.
    Worst still….corrupted munafiks are teaching us..how to be honest and be good Malaysians.
    Waiting so long for Mahathir to put out list of UMNO corrupted politicians he promised to do so.
    Instead…I read about Zaid…and his usual sarcastic remarks direct to Dollah….and other issues.


  12. monsterball
    Dec 08, 2008 @ 01:10:04

    Anyone trusting any USA Presidents before Obama was elected…must have his head examined by Dr.Shu.
    Unfortunately…Doc is not a shrink doctor.
    Come to Dr. Monsterball…I will reveal your darkest secrets in no time……hahahahahahaha
    USA government have never been honest and sincere…for past 25 years or more.
    But that country can never do wrong for a long time…as Presidents are not allowed …..more than two terms…4 years per term.
    Here..in Malaysia..such a small tiny country..PMs are on going…like M….22 years!!
    Americans are smart voters…to let politicians know who is the real boss.
    Here…a sizable amount of Muslim Malaysians seem to believe UMNO is their savior…not Allah.
    And small amount of other Malaysians of different races…support UMNO…for selfish reasons.


  13. monsterball
    Dec 08, 2008 @ 01:28:38

    Obama have yet to prove himself…but at least Americans are brave enough to admit…they voted the wrong President..now ready to be colourless.
    Yes…only in cities they are colourless…but in urban areas…the American whites think differently…and also cannot be bothered to vote.
    Voting in America is slightly more than 52% of total population!!
    Huge huge populations in the rural areas….does not care about world affairs…or know who their President is.
    This is the part..you seldom get to know..unless from guys….like Jay Leno…exposing with a touch of comedy.


  14. klm
    Dec 08, 2008 @ 09:36:49

    Oh. I forgot to mention. Bill Clinton sent Al Gore to Malaysia to insult us. Have we forgotten that?


  15. monsterball
    Dec 08, 2008 @ 10:11:42

    In that matter…it was to insult Mahathir for jailing Anwar…under ISA.
    Secretary of States…Madam Albright was here too….to meet Anwar…that Mahathir .the Dictator dare not even refuse.
    Do you recall…Albright said..Anwar can have anything he wants…USA government will give…..anything!!
    That “anything” is seen right now…with Anwar ..no financial problem for his political party.
    One false move…funds will be withdrawn….I am sure.
    UMNO can steal….plunder and cheat.
    Anwar needs equally strong financial backings.
    No need to steal……just ask and it shall be given.
    Where did all his money come from?


  16. for nikki
    Dec 08, 2008 @ 11:08:40

    “What he mentioned is indeed noble but easier said than done is this country of ours” Langchiapek

    How true. As long as we are always identified by race, politicians continue to champion individuaL ethnic groups, insecurities and fear drummed into the rakyat, supremacy this, ketuanan that, us vs them, etc etc ad nauseum, its just wishful thinking.

    We have to start with the young like what I experienced pre 1969. Children of all races play and mixed around freely. Bring back meritocracy into our schools, teach our young our common destiny rather than diversity etc etc. There are so many things we can do if only we can remove our fear and insecurities and forge a common ground. In this respect I think what Zaid Ibrahim plans to do – set up a youth foundation, is very laudable and timely. I hope that this movement will in time grow far and wide nationally. I will wholeheartedly enrol my children in any such programme.

    We need to move forward. The USA can do it and ultimately so can we. Maybe not in my lifetime but hopefully in the not too distant future.

    Regards to you Dr Hsu,
    Another NUS alumnus.


  17. A true Malaysian
    Dec 08, 2008 @ 18:10:46

    It is not easy to be elected as a President of USA. Just look at how many hurdles Obama needs to go through and you get what I meant.

    For this, Clinton is still great. A person’s private life is to be observed and respected by all, irrespective of Clinton or Chua Soi Lek.

    I commented before, diversity is our strength. This, effectively, is the same as what Clinton meant. The different is, Clinton was ‘paid’, I was not, but I am still ‘contented’.

    As what RPK said in his ISA video, Islam is played by interested parties and managed to stifle some people’s thinking, where there is no more logic for those things that are illogical.

    Can we welcome these people into our common place? If the answer is yes, then it is ‘toleration’. Agree?

    Hope ‘toleration’ is also from the other direction.


  18. eugene
    Dec 08, 2008 @ 21:49:36

    “United States, in decades to come , would be a country without a majority race. If the whites can accept this diversity, why are we Malaysians still arguing about race and “supremacy”?

    Dr Hsu,

    Your assumption is way off.the real sce
    nario is in dcades to come Muslim population in the US would be around 20% and increasing because- 1. of high numbers of immigrant from middle east countries. 2. Muslim breed faster. The white already debating about it. So you see, there may be no major race but there is going to be a major community which I think is more worrying. Can you imagine what will happen when muslim has major influence in US gorvenment policy ?????


  19. Meng
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 15:53:08

    Quote””He was very touched by 2 Muslim ladies who came up to greet him while he was visiting our Aviary””

    Quote””According to news portal Malaysiakini, Ms Ng Yee Ping’s husband was desperately digging through the earth with his bare hands to save his wife, a 30-year-old accountant who delivered a son two months ago. He thought help had arrived when rescue personnel reached the scene. But all they reportedly did was throw him a spade””

    Quote “”welcome each other into our common space, then it would not matter anymore that we have differences in skin colour “”

    Can we do it..Even at the moment of death the color of your skin determines and where is the common space. Looks like the chinese have to set up their own rescue force/unit for disaster relief work.

    “My wife and I examined our safety box and found it opened. Several branded watches and jewellery were missing,” Mr Ng, 56, was quoted by Malaysiakini as saying.””

    Don’t you think Mr Ng’s family will not harbor any hatred in general towards the rescuers who were mostly Malays and in particular the government???.


  20. hongseng
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 16:48:59

    a world of the same is heaven, a world full of diferrences is the true world. Dont and never dream the heaven will appear on earth. that’s is life. do oue best and live with it. so wat!


  21. Amin
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 22:36:19

    Clinton came to promote the dwindling fortune of someone who is trying to list ‘green rubber’ in the west’s stock exchange. This same character was also the one who proposed to hand-make a sports car Buccati in Malaysia with such a publicity some 15 years ago that many gullible Malaysians paid and lost their deposits in booking such phantom cars.

    Now with this phantom green rubber, Bruce Willis nearly lost his deposit.

    Can Clinton wield his magic wand this time round?


  22. klm
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 11:18:00

    Dear Amin. There is one born every minute.
    There is no end of suckers for this guy’s scheme.

    I think the sponsors paid money upfront. I wonder if Bill Clinton will ever get paid.


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