Obama for Putrajaya

Barack Hussein Obama for prime minister of Malaysia?


Azly Rahman

(Written in 2008 during the US Presidential Campaign)

“…Haji Ramli Street was a dirt lane where Obama used to while away the hours kicking a soccer ball. In the long rainy season, it turned to thick, mucky soup; Obama and his friends wore plastic bags over their shoes to walk though it,” said Adi, who at 46 is the same age as Obama….


barrack obama 201008 02“Neighborhood Muslims worshiped in a nearby house, which has since been replaced by a larger mosque. Sometimes, when the muezzin sounded the call to prayer, Lolo and Barry would walk to the makeshift mosque together.

… “His mother often went to the church, but Barry was Muslim. He went to the mosque. I remember him wearing a sarong,” said Adi.


– reported by Paul Watson in The Baltimore Sun, March 16, 2007

“… given the increasing diversity of America’s population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers. …

And even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools?

Would we go with James Dobson’s, or Al Sharpton’s? Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination?

How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount – a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defence Department would survive its application?”
– Barack Obama Call to renewal: keynote address June 28, 2006

Barack Hussein Obama for prime minister of Malaysia?

democrat american election obama 070108 01Of course this is a silly proposition, unless Malaysia is USA’s 52nd state! We would like to see Malaysia evolve into a country in which neither race nor religion matter in the appointment of prime ministers.

What matters is one’s moral righteousness, intellectual depth, uncompromising multiculturalist outlook, undying championing of the Constitution, prioritising of needs versus wants, and commitment to a two-term (eight year) prime ministership.

Obama’s America votes

With less than two weeks before the most exciting US Presidential election, Americans are again, as in the tradition of its democracy, getting an education of what it takes to be a president and what it means to be a voter.

Will the United States see her first “most hybridised”, “hypertextualised”, “heteroglossic” president in Barack Obama? And how can Malaysia learn from yet another interesting episode in American history?

No, I am not campaigning for Obama, McCain, Bidden, or Palin. Being a permanent resident, I cannot vote for America’s president anyway – not yet. Nor have I campaigned for any prime ministerial candidate of Malaysia – not yet, as I am still waiting for a leader Malaysia deserves.

At this moment, I am more interested in analysing phenomena and to write about what is dear to my heart: the possibility of a republic of virtue that begins with a republic of the self.

barack obama 031106 pointingBarack is a phenomena America is coming to terms with. He is an embodiment of America the absurd – of a white America wishing to move away from “whiteness” and dropping the “knapsack of white privilege”.

Barack means ‘barkath’ or ‘blessings’ perhaps this country needs to escape from a military-industrial complex it created.

Barack is a product of two of America’s best Ivy League traditions; a Columbia University graduate in Politics and International Relations and a Harvard graduate in Law.

He is “hybridised,” with a Kansas-born white mother and a Kenyan father and an Indonesian stepfather. He is also said to be a distant cousin of Vice President Dick Cheney whose ancestors are said to be great monarchs of Europe.

Barack has lived in Hawaii, Indonesia, New York, and Illinois. His Indonesian childhood experience as Barry Soetoro, son of Lolo Soetoro, has brought him fond memories of growing up Javanese and mingling with Muslim children in a secular school mistaken as ‘radical madrasah’ by right-wing Republican Islamophobic media spinmasters.

islam malaysia muslim men in prayer makmum 070207Hey, but what if Barack is a Muslim and proud of it – should Middle America freak out? Such is testament of how racialised this country is and how uncultured and ignorant Middle America can be. But that experience makes Barack Hussein Obama a deeply kaleidoscopic, hybridised, and cosmopolitan America citizen of the world, I presume.

Barack, Harlem, and the Bronx

Barack’s New York years at West 116th Street, at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) put him in touch with the reality of the “Harlem-ness and the Bronx-ness” of America.

A few more blocks down West 120th Amsterdam and Broadway, one sees a different reality of a Third World America.

african american black community people 180608America of the ‘projects’ against the backdrop of graffiti, ever-new dance forms, and gangsta rap, hip hop, and reggaeton.

Barack’s education at Columbia must have accorded him with the nurturing of empathy especially for the multicultural poor. His Harvard years must have trained his mind in the cognitive tradition of John F. Kennedy.

He is an articulate man whose oratorical skills can even surpass that of the accomplished African-American actor Denzel Washington’s. Barack can even appear cameo in Denzel’s next movie perhaps called Abraham Lincoln Resurrected; the story of Barack Obama.

Barack represents the emergence of America the radical multicultural; a breakdown of grand narrative and hopefully a shift from America the warmonger to America the diplomat and peacemaker.

John McCain, a former prisoner of war, represents what America must evolve out of, replaced by a young and sensible man of all seasons and all reasons: Barack Obama.

bank us federal reserve 141008 02United States of America must now be called United Socialist America, with the disappearance of Wall Street and the nationalisation of the US “central” bank.

A demise of the financial system that has propped up the Evil Empire in its crusade for global reach through gunboat diplomacy and democracy for the few.

Casino capitalism which has gambled away the lives of many locally and nationally is making way for a form of capitalism we do not yet know its name.

The American Century Project is cut short by 95 years.

What Malaysia deserves

Malaysia needs a new Barack Obama as prime minister.

Well not necessarily a Columbia and Harvard graduate but someone with a good education and a good heart and a good set of analytical skills.

Most importantly Malaysia needs a prime minister for all Malaysians, not only for this or that race.

In Malaysia’s Barack will lie a man or woman who can dismantle all race-based policies.

military modern american soldier 250507Malaysia does not need a John McCain as prime minister.

In the Malaysia of John McCain, we will have a system of control akin to militarism, in which secret patronage politics, authoritarianism, and regimentation of a synthesis of Oriental Despotism and modern corporate crony capitalism reigns.

In McCain’s Malaysia, we have the institutionalisation of the war system, in which the regime is at war with its people and institutions and ideologues have been taken as prisoners of war.

Especially in this difficult times of “transition” of power that is giving Malaysians a cruel choice of a hegemonic flow.

If we are to have an Obamanised Malaysia, we will have longer campaigns that makes the prime-ministerial race more intelligent.

Creating more respect for our democratic institutions, more respect for the rule of law, more informed citizenry whom will not tolerate civil rights violation and more articulated promise for radical educational reform.

Most importantly a prime minister committed to dismantling any form of race-based political parties – politics that will always be the root of Malaysia’s postmodern/hypermodern ethic and religious conflicts.

Of course Barack Obama will never become a prime minister of Malaysia. It is a silly proposition.

But may Malaysia be blessed with a leader it deserves at a time when the old regime, with its own “Bush-ism and Reaganomics as twin ideology, is rudely demanding for its rights to continue to rule a restless and radicalised multicultural nation.

Of course Obama would not want to belong in any of Malaysia’s race-based parties – something that’ll painfully remind him of Jim Crow, Montgomery and Selma, Alabama.

While the opinion in the article is mine,
the comments are yours;
present them rationally and ethically.