Friday, August 05, 2005

Canada's Enlightening Example

For years Canada was considered as the best country in the world to live in. It is still among the top countries noted for the quality of life. There is another fantastic aspect of Canada that hasn't been so publicised, that of its policy of inclusiveness.

Canada has selected a beautiful black woman Michaelle Jean to be her 27th Governor General. She replaces another lady Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson, a Hong Kong born Chinese.

Coincidentally, both lady GGs have very similar backgrounds. Both were refugees, with Clarkson fleeing from the Japanese aggression in China and Jean escaping the Duvalier regime of Haiti. Both have a media background – Clarkson and Jean worked with Canadian Broadcasting TV.

Some Canadians suspect that Jean's appointment may be a gesture to the Quebecois, French speaking Canadians, who haven't been too pleased with the Anglo-Saxon dominated Canadian government and system. Jean is from Quebec. In 1995 the Quebecois did try to secede, but they failed in the ensuing referendum, only by the slimmest of margins.

Leaving the Quebec issue aside, Canada has at least shown its inclusiveness of its diverse citizenry, making two non caucasians its GG's. Both were not even born in Canada. Similarly in Australia, the Governor of its biggest state, New South Wales, is Marie Bashir, an Australian of Lebanese descent.

That's more than can be said for a multi-ethnic country like Malaysia. The last Chinese-Malaysian Governor in Malaysia was eons ago in Malacca. For years, Penangites have wish for a Chinese-Malaysian, preferably Penang-born to be its Governor or Yang Di Pertua Negeri. I have blogged on this issue over at BolehTalk blogsite. But instead Malaysians see many posts that once could be held by non-Malays have now been denied to them, let alone a post such as the Yang Di-Pertua Negeri of a state.

Related post:
BolehTalk's Non-Malay Yang Di-Pertua Negeri for Penang & Malacca?

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