In fact, shortly after his inauguration on Jan 20, Obama was choosing an Arab station, Al Arabiyya, to give his first formal TV interview, widely interpreted as a signal that he wanted to improve relations with the Arab and Muslim world. He also called for peace and dialogue with Islam in a speech to Turkey's parliament on his first presidential visit to the Muslim world in April. Furthermore, his desire to cease a deplorable policy disagreement between Iran, Syria as well as Cuba has shown a positive sign that a striking move of closing the gap between the west and the rest (especially Islam) is under the progress, perhaps. Even in this coming June, Obama is expected to deliver a much anticipated speech to the Muslim world in Egypt, seeking to repair ties that were severely damaged under his predecessor George W. Bush.
In term of leadership, Malaysia can play a role in bridging the West and Islam. However, recent political scuffle has put Malaysia in a skeptical condition. In today scenario of economic fidgety, both BN and PR should give their priority on harnessing economic growth while performing governance reform, especially on the new venture such as nurturing creative minds among rakyat through the appreciation of diversity and revamping environmental as well as energy policy by encouraging R&D. It is no point at all if the politicians keep on blaming among others. After all there are many things that can be done locally and internationally. Just ask ourselves, how we are going to spur the West-Islam bridging mission, if we by ourselves can be able to wholeheartedly accommodate the diversity of thinking among us?