I will try to blog as often as I can from here if the schedule permits. I am still suffering from mild jet lag and trying to get adjusted to the cold weather. I want to extend my congratulations to YB Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut and our friends from PAS for winning the by-election in Kuala Terengganu! Syabas Pakatan Rakyat!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Greetings from Washington, DC
This posting is actually coming to you from Washington, DC. I'm here on an official trip, having been selected and sponsored by the United States Department of State for the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) on Transition of Power in the U.S. Federal System.
At Washington Harbour
16 participants comprising politicians, lawmakers, government officials and senior members of the media from all over the world (including India, Pakistan, Philippines, Egypt, Turkey, UK, New Zealand, Nepal, Norway, Papua New Guinea and others) and my friend Steven Sim, special assistant to the Penang State Exco were selected for this program to study the following:
1. To examine the transition of power in a civil society from one administration to another;
2. To enhance understanding of the origins and development of the U.S. federal system of government;
3. To address the separation of powers and the divisions of authority and responsibility at the national, state and local levels of government.
My first stop is at Washington, DC. The President Inauguration 2009 will take place this coming Tuesday, January 20th. Preparation works for the big day have started in the city. 4 million people are expected to participate in the Inauguration Day. I hope to be able to stand amongst the millions to witness this once-in-a-lifetime-for-me event provided I can withstand the cold winter (maximum 3 degrees celcius and can go down to -5 degrees celcius). An official welcome concert will begin in the city today.
I feel privileged to be chosen to participate in this leadership program and also to be able to witness the historic inauguration of America’s first black president. I do hope to meet Barack Obama but we were told there is a very slim chance for this to happen.