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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 367 posts for Wikibeng

Sunzi and the Art of Bad Leadership

By OOI KEE BENG. This article first appeared in Forum, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on May 31, 2021 – June 06, 2021. LAMENTING OVER the lack of leadership grows more common by the day, especially during a crisis, be it 1997, 2008 or 2020. This is true in Malaysia and in most parts of the world — … Continue reading

The Future of Work Will Include Clubbing

By OOI KEE BENG, Penang Monthly Editorial, June 2021 IN THE FIRST decade or two following Covid-19, which parts of our daily life will go back to the way they were, and which will not? It’s anyone’s guess. And since anyone and everyone is guessing, I might as well do the same. Macroeconomic and geopolitical changes, … Continue reading

A Synergic Platform is Something Penang Almost Already Has to Build Back Better

EDITORIAL, May 2021, by Ooi Kee Beng THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC has obliged us to rethink the personal, the present and the proximate. Shaken by the arresting of our ambitions, stirred by disruptions to our daily habits, and stumped in our reasoning by the pressing demands of public safety, each of us has had to reconsider … Continue reading

Nicol David: So Much Done, So Much to Do

By OOI KEE BENG, April 2021, Penang Monthly DATO’ NICOL DAVID was the first famous personality to be profiled by Penang Monthly. This was in February 2010, in the magazine’s third issue, in an article titled “Meeting a Legend that Grows and Grows”. Much ink has been printed since then, and much water has flowed under the bridge. Ooi … Continue reading

Anwar Fazal: Seeing New Possibilities for Social Activism Post-Pandemic [PART TWO]

PENANG PROFILE: Anwar Fazal Ooi Kee Beng Penang Monthly, May, 2021 PENANG MONTHLY CONTINUES the conversation with Penang’s most prolific social activist, Dato’ Seri Dr. Anwar Fazal, on social activism, on having a positive mind-set, and on the importance of communication. [PART ONE was published in April 2021] Galactic Organising Can we talk about your use of ABC, … Continue reading

Anwar Fazal: Seeing New Possibilities for Social Activism Post-Pandemic [PART ONE]

PENANG PROFILE: Anwar Fazal By OOI KEE BENG, Penang Monthly April 2021 A HEALTH PANDEMIC lays bare the bones of human society. So, if Covid-19 has not riled up your interest in how the world works, in how that world will now change, and in what your place in it will be in the future, … Continue reading

Economics Understood as Soft Power Makes More and More Sense

By OOI KEE BENG, for THE EDGE MALAYSIA, 2 May 2021 “Soft Power”, the highly influential article written by Joseph Nye, published in Foreign Policy No. 80 in Autumn 1990, ends with the sentence: “The problem for U.S. power after the Cold War will be less the new challengers for hegemony than the new challenges … Continue reading

Amused at Fort Cornwallis

By OOI KEE BENG. Penang Monthly Editorial April 20201 AT THE WATER’s edge, my soul sighs. This has something to do with the sound of waves. Things may seem serene, but I cannot forget the power the sea withholds. I am lured by the ceaseless roll of water on sand the way I am persuaded … Continue reading

Pandemic or not, there is no such thing as “de-globalisation”

By Ooi Kee Beng, in The Edge Malaysia, 28 March 2021 WHILE THE Covid-19 pandemic is sometimes portrayed as globalisation hitting a wall, it has at the same time raised public consciousness that globalization as a whole has gone beyond a point of no return. You see that paradox in how local remedies to the … Continue reading

Southeast Asia Needs to Stop Being a Frontline for Global Conflicts

By OOI KEE BENG, in The Compass, December 2020 #6, Jeffrey Cheah Institute for Southeast Asia. THE TWO-YEAR-OLD trade war between the United States and China is in many ways a proxy conflict, the real issues not merely being about trade conditions but more being about the global strategical and ideological issues that have emerged … Continue reading