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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 310 posts for Wikibeng

Are digital disruptions laying the foundations for holistic education in the 21st century?

By Ooi Kee Beng, for The Edge Malaysia, 30 December 2019 With disruptions in major industries changing the structure of daily economic life, all of us should sense very clearly by now that the education industry — if you will allow me to call it an industry — is a ripe fruit that is about … Continue reading

Liveability Lies in Public Spaces being Properly Planned and Maintained

By Ooi Kee Beng, Penang Monthly editorial January 2020 In a rural setting, public spaces lie between households. These are spaces shared with neighbours. And as you walk out of the village centre, either up the hill, into the fields or down to the riverbank or the coast, Nature’s presence begins to dominate and you … Continue reading

Fostering a Sense of Conjoint Fate One Teh Tarik at a Time

By Ooi Kee Beng, Penang Monthly Editorial, December 2019. Not many peoples in the world discuss what they want for dinner while eating lunch. Malaysians do, and we like to laugh about that fact – taking it to mean that we are down-to-earth, we are immediate and caring, and we distrust abstract matters. We also … Continue reading

Making the Most of Disruptions

By Ooi Kee Beng, for The Edge Malaysia, 2 December 2019. 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 disruption, to use a fashionable word — with … Continue reading

The View Gets Better the Longer the Journey Lasts

By OOI KEE BENG. Penang Monthly, November 2019. There are tipping points. Key instances past which the world changes. The effect is often immediate, shocking and irreversible. And then there are changes that happen at a seemingly glacial pace, some lasting so long that a human can live his whole life and not notice them. … Continue reading

Who says it’s not possible for Malaysia to move beyond identity politics?

By OOI KEE BENG, for THE EDGE 27 October 2019. For Malaysian politics to transcend the primacy of identity and move on to policymaking that is truly constructive and progressive, in the building of a country that is socially harmonious, morally proud and economically influential, there are at least five aspects that require deep consideration. … Continue reading

Freedom Socially Anchored is a Formidable Thing

By Ooi Kee Beng, Penang Monthly Editorial October 2019. When a process of liberation has actually succeeded in emancipating a category of humans, subsequent generations should find it hard to imagine the conditions of that subjugation, or even the type of society that allowed it. But then, few liberating processes are ever complete, or are … Continue reading

Can the State Free Itself from Party Politics?

By OOI KEE BENG, for THE EDGE, 30 September 2019 Before Merdeka, the states that now make up the Federation of Malaysia each functioned to varying degrees and in different ways as part of the global economy that we knew as colonialism. But although one could say that the metropolitan centre then was London and … Continue reading

The Seas ‘r’ Us

By Ooi Kee Beng, Editorial in Penang Monthly, September 2019 Penang lies at the southern end of the Andaman Sea, the eastern end of the Bay of Bengal and the northern end of the Straits of Melaka. It also marks the westernmost end of the Malay peninsula. Being so oddly placed, the island has been … Continue reading

The Revolution in Education is No Walk in the Park

By Ooi Kee Beng for The Edge Malaysia; August 26, 2019 – September 01, 2019. Given the disruptions to school systems being brought by digitalisation and the new industrial revolution it fuels, the biggest concern for governments and parents throughout the world should be to work out what the most effective structural and conceptual reforms … Continue reading