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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

Moulded by Chaotic Times

BOOK REVIEW Title: Robert Kuok. A Memoir with Andrew Tanzer (Publisher: John Beaufoy Pub) For his countrymen, the appearance of “Robert Kuok. A Memoir” on bookshelves in late 2018 was a publishing sensation. The life and fate of Robert Kuok, Malaysia’s richest man, had never been properly told or understood. And that was the way … Continue reading

The Khat Controversy in Malaysia — A Dicey Storm in a Massive Teacup

Should We Build a United Nation? Or Simply a Just State and a Healthy Economy?

By OOI KEE BENG, Editorial for Penang Monthly, August 2019. Malaysians use “Nation building” as an umbrella term for all the processes required to turn a given territory into a secure, prosperous and united country. The contentiousness involved in “nation building” is obvious, and the path towards secure nationhood and a free and happy society … Continue reading

Malaysia’s lowering of the voting age and the huge forces fueling the change

The Reformasi movement will now be continued by the next generation of Malaysian youths, says Penang Institute’s Ooi Kee Beng. (CNA Commentary, Singapore. 31 Jul 2019) PENANG: In 2018, six decades after the Federation of Malaya first held elections, the Malaysian parliament made two sweeping changes to the Constitution. First, to automate the voter registration … Continue reading