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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 299 posts for Wikibeng

Mothers, Thy Name is Worry

By OOI KEE BENG Penang Monthly Editorial for May 2019. Women may not all have been born multitaskers, but mothers, whether working mums or not, definitely are. In fact, it may not be possible to define motherhood any other way, which is why we react with such deep shock when we hear of mothers neglecting … Continue reading

A Democracy is Only as Mature as Its Voters Manage to Become

By Ooi Kee Beng for The Edge Malaysia, 31 March 2019. Malaya was born a democracy in 1957. The first general election held on the peninsula had taken place just two years earlier, on 27 July 1955. In fact, the first ever proper election was the municipal one held in George Town on 1 December … Continue reading

Fleeting Squatters in Public Spaces

By Ooi Kee Beng; Penang Monthly Editorial, March 2019 As the Batu Kawan township comes into being, new hope is raised that the quality of life in the state of Penang will be affected positively, and that the bar for urban liveability will be raised. Being a greenfield project, the area promises to show how … Continue reading

Limiting the political class should be the ultimate goal for reformists

By Ooi Kee Beng. In Forum, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, February 25, 2019 – March 03, 2019. Was the opposition to BN-Umno rule, which led to the change in government in 2018, about corruption, ethnic baiting and deteriorating socioeconomic conditions, and a loss of confidence in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration? Well, those are, in … Continue reading

Building the New Malaysian

By Ooi Kee Beng This article first appeared in Forum, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on January 28, 2019 – February 03, 2019. Building a new Malaysia must necessarily mean building a new Malaysian. This is because the 60 years that went before, for all its successes, bred dynamics that in the end led not only … Continue reading

Amazed, Enthused and Amused by Music

By Ooi Kee Beng, Penang Monthly Editorial February 2019 Computer-generated imagery, better remembered as CGI, has radically changed the movie industry. Anything can now be made to look extremely real on the screen; and we are left marvelling at the cleverness involved as well as the computer programming and power that lie behind this mastery … Continue reading

Malaysia goes in search of a more inclusive growth formula

By OOI KEE BENG, For ChannelNewsAsia Commentary; 5 Jan 2019 PENANG: Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional (BN) government survived the general elections of 2008 and 2013, fending off strong attacks from the Pakatan Rakyat. But then, in 2018, it suddenly fell — at the hands of the newly formed Pakatan Harapan. Certain new elements coming into play … Continue reading

Governing with a Vision: Part One

COVER STORY, Penang Monthly, January 2019 By Ooi Kee Beng It was a Monday, the beginning of a working week and the start of a hopeful time for Malaysia. At 11.10am on May 14, 2018, four days after it became official that Pakatan Harapan had won the general elections, and that it (earlier as Pakatan … Continue reading

A Tsunami of Cultural Disruptions is on the Horizon

By Ooi Kee Beng, Penang Monthly editorial, January 2019 The digital revolution that in recent years has been pigeonholed as Industry 4.0 in reality transforms modern life in more ways than merely through new products, new production processes and new consumption patterns. No doubt it has transformed the taxi industry and is undermining the hotel … Continue reading

No Bold Strategy for PH, No Real Reform for Malaysia

By Ooi Kee Beng, for The Edge Malaysia, 30 December 2018. The long-awaited change in government in Malaysia is now a fact, but the question to ask now is, how committed to across-the-board reforms can the new ruling coalition be, led as it is by a 93-year-old prime minister who is scheduled to leave within … Continue reading

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