Not until today, following the news of the death of Mrs Corazon Aquino, the former leader of the Philippines, did I realise that she was not only Asia's first female president but also Asia's first democratically elected president. The fact that Mrs Aquino was elected in 1986, barely two decades ago, shows how painfully and incredibly slow Asia's progress in democracy has been. Today, there are still countries like North Korea and Burma which are ruled by dictators or the military. It is also hard to conceive how China, the nation with the biggest population in Asia and the world, will have its leaders chosen by democratic election.
My tennis racquet boasts that it gives the user power and lets him be in control. Ironically, power and control are not only craved by tennis players but also by authoritarians and tyrants. Asia, unfortunately, happens to have them aplenty.