SKIP the superlatives. None would be good enough to describe the opening of the Olympics in Beijing last night. The date - 080808 - aside, it was definitely an historic and auspicious occassion for China.
To see the mass of humanity within the Birds' Nest, it was simply stunning. Nothing compares to the sight of such an open display of friendship, organisation and skills. I'm quite sure more people will be taking up tai chi after this.
But I couldn't help comparing the sight in Beijing to that of our backyard. To think that it was in 1998 - only 10 years ago - that we hosted what we believe to be our biggest sporting event - The Commonwealth Games.
My question is simply this - have we built on that? Are we anywhere near Ella's song - top of the world? Have our athletes built on their achievements from Sukom '98?
But what is more worrying for many of us is - have our country built on what we thought was our crowning glory? Do we still have the same organisational skills? Do we still have the courage and conviction to compete with the world's best? Where are we today - on 080808 - politically, economically, socially?
Do we still have what it takes to be a nation of achievers, of champions of the poor and be the voice of conscience against the world's imbalance? Can our leaders, hand on heart, assure us that they are doing everything possible to take us out of this unpredictable situation we are in?