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The SXI Spirit: Hard Work as Second Nature

Editorial-cum-book review: Francis Loh Kok Wah, Cecilia Ng and Anthony Rogers: The Xaverian Journey: The Story of a Lasallian School in Penang, Malaysia 1787-2019. Pulau Pinang: Southbound. 2019. I AM A Xaverian, and silently (until now at least) I have been very proud of that fact. Not proud in the sense of “My school, right or wrong”, … Continue reading

Is Malaysia seeing a crisis in its identity politics?

Identity politics cannot end happily. Since the “Us-versus-Them” game is a cynical exercise in exclusion on the one hand, and inclusion on the other — both done through essentialist myth-building and through the dismissal and denial of factors that stand in the way — desperation and defensiveness become its default sentiment. Historically, the worst cases … Continue reading

International trade remains the basis for global goodwill

By OOI KEE BENG; For THE EDGE MALAYSIA, 28 Sept – 4 Oct 2020. Is the Covid-19 pandemic the third nail being hammered into the coffin of globalisation? While the historical process connecting all of humanity under one economic umbrella cannot be stopped, it can be redirected where its decisive dynamics and its major actors … Continue reading

Digital Literacy Should be Pursued the Way Universal Literacy Once Was

By OOI KEE BENG. Penang Monthly Editorial, October 2020 AT ITS MOST basic level, literacy is about the ability to read and write. But reading and writing is a goal to an end. It was to get us educated. Literacy leads us into a world of endless knowledge – and communication. Literacy as a measure … Continue reading

Are New Forces for Change on the Rise in Malaysia?

By OOI KEE BENG There is something strange about the word “transit”. We assume that a child, for example, will someday grow—transit—to become a mature adult, and not remain psychically a child albeit in physical adult form. At the same time, we do know that all too often, physical adults do continue acting like children … Continue reading

Can “The New Normal” be “The New Age”?

By OOI KEE BENG, Editorial for September 2020, Penang Monthly. AS EXAMPLES INCREASE of countries getting new spikes in Covid-19 cases, and as some sustained green zones in Malaysia, like Penang, start turning yellow, it is understandable that the public begins to worry, and to take the SOPs more seriously again. Takeaways from restaurants seem … Continue reading

Keeping Public Space Secure is the Great Pandemic Challenge

By OOI KEE BENG, for The Edge Malaysia, 2-9 August 2020. Now when Covid-19 is on the loose and the movement of the public, practically throughout the whole world, is controlled, traced and monitored, in principle every moment of the day whenever an individual is out and about, the very notion of public space becomes … Continue reading

Refining Daily Social Behaviour is How We Individuals Get to Define the New Normal

By OOI KEE BENG, Penang Monthly Editorial, August 2020 THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS that causes Covid-19 has been going about its deadly business for six months now. To date (July 10, 2020), 12,414,853 people have officially been infected by it, and since the first week of May, the seven-day moving average for deaths per day globally … Continue reading

Will Covid-19 bring crucial epiphanies to redeem the human species?

By Ooi Kee Beng, for The Edge Malaysia, 28 June 2020. WHAT MAKES THE Covid-19 pandemic so very different from other present-day crises that we read about is that, not only does it affect every human being on Earth, it affects them in a painfully immediate and an exasperatingly tenacious fashion. This is not a … Continue reading

Getting Back on Our Feet, and with Back Held Straight

By OOI KEE BENG, Cover story, Penang Monthly, July 2020 DISASTERS – natural or manmade – tend to affect a limited geographical area. A typhoon cutting across the Philippines, like Typhoon Vongfong in May this year, may devastate thousands of lives but humans living elsewhere will know nothing about it apart from what they read … Continue reading