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Ooi Kee Beng

Dr OOI KEE BENG is the Executive Director of Penang Institute (George Town, Penang, Malaysia). He was born and raised in Penang, and was the Deputy Director of ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute (formerly the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, ISEAS). He is the founder-editor of the Penang Monthly (published by Penang Institute), ISEAS Perspective (published by ISEAS) and ISSUES (published by Penang Institute). He is also editor of Trends in Southeast Asia, and a columnist for The Edge, Malaysia.
Ooi Kee Beng has written 323 posts for Wikibeng

Fighting Covid-19 Helps Penang Take Charge of its Digital Future

By OOI KEE BENG, Penang Monthly Editorial, April 2020 THE PENANG STATE Government has adopted “Next Normal” as the working term to denote the immediate post-Covid-19 era. This is exciting in that it proposes that normalcy in the coming years should be perceived as dynamic – and therefore continuously transitional – rather than static. The … Continue reading

Dare to Imagine the Best Possible New Normal

By Ooi Kee Beng, in The Edge Malaysia, 26 April 2020 There were forewarnings that something like the COVID-19 Pandemic would hit the world; and yet, it came as a big surprise to most governments. To those that did act early, it was still too little and too late in most cases. The virus was … Continue reading

A Sport is an Ongoing Search for Common Ground

By OOI KEE BENG, April 2020 Editorial, Penang Monthly. IT IS STRANGELY hard to decide what a sport is; and when we do settle on a definition, it is only acceptable if we do not consider the many forms of human activities – usually from other cultures and times – which we therewith have excluded. … Continue reading

The Dynamics Needed to Dislodge Malaysia from its Race Fetish

By OOI KEE BENG, for The Edge Malaysia, March 30, 2020 Malaysian politics is largely racial. It is racial to such an extent that religion is popularly connected to race. And so, the greatest challenge that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government faced when it took power in May 2018 was in developing and propagating for … Continue reading

Admitting Humanity’s Exploitative Ties with Nature: Penang’s Pursuit of Sustainable Development

By Ooi Kee Beng, in HESB (Higher Education in Southeast Asia and Beyond) March 2020 ISSUE #07: pp.13-15 Globalisation’s Historical Consequence The atypical ambition to make human development sustainable would not have come about in our time, if not for the pervasive sense we all feel that human insatiability has gone too far. Human interference—or … Continue reading

With Malaysian politics on a knife’s edge, what challenges will Muhyiddin face?

By OOI KEE BENG, for TODAYONLINE, Singapore. 9 March 2020 If Malaysia’s new government under Muhyiddin Yassin is a solid one, then one could perhaps begin declaring a new era in the country’s politics.  But it is not, and it in fact depends heavily on parties like the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) and the … Continue reading

Entrepreneurship Gone Sexy

Ooi Kee Beng, Penang Monthly editorial, March, 2020 ENTREPRENEURSHIP. THIS IS a word more used than understood. But it is a word that is hugely popular today. It connotes some psychological quality that we wish that our young people have more of today, something akin to innovativeness, adaptiveness and creative. And there does not seem … Continue reading

Of pyramids, eggs, durians and depicting power in Malaysia

Ooi Kee Beng, for The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on March 2, 2020 – March 08, 2020. Power structures are often perceived in the form of a pyramid. Where the number of inhabitants at each level is concerned, then yes, a hierarchy is clearly and understandably modelled as a pyramid, presented as a structure with a … Continue reading

As another unstable coalition takes power, what does the future hold for Malaysian politics?

By OOI KEE BENG for TODAYONLINE, 2 March 2020 Muhyiddin Yassin has emerged as Malaysia’s eighth prime minister after a week of dramatic twists and turns among parliamentarians. He emerged the winner thanks to the coming together of three of the five Malay-based parties in the country, along with a coalition of Sarawak parties called … Continue reading

Expect more mischief by Malaysian political elites unless there is a devolution of power

By OOI KEE BENG, for TODAYONLINE, Singapore, 26 FEBRUARY, 2020 The grab for power attempted over the period of Feb 22 to 24 at Malaysia’s centre of power was a totally elite enterprise. It was a game of numbers among parliamentarians done behind locked doors. This caught everyone not involved in the plotting by surprise. … Continue reading