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This category contains 288 posts

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

How Much of a Crisis is Covid-19?

By OOI KEE BENG, Editorial, Penang Monthly, 2020. THERE ARE MANY levels to a crisis. What is sometimes called a crisis is often merely a serious problem. Personally, I would prefer that the word be reserved for when the resolution of the difficult situation signals structural and irreversible change. By definition, one cannot come out … Continue reading

Redefining the global ‘new normal’ after COVID-19

EAST ASIA FORUM Author: Ooi Kee Beng, Penang Institute, 6 June 2020 Pundits are comparing the COVID-19 pandemic to the ‘Spanish Flu’ of 1918 to tease out lessons for how to combat future pandemics. US President Donald Trump stands during a news briefing on the administration’s response to COVID-19 in Washington DC, United States, 21 … Continue reading

Covid-19 and Penang2030: Refining the Goals and Defining the Means

By Ooi Kee Beng, for Crisis Managment, Penang Institute, 19 May 2020. Read here

Balancing Mutualism with Legalism

By OOI KEE BENG, Penang Monthly Editorial, June 2020 THE NOTION OF “Rights” is as close to the essence of politics as one can come in a word. This is because “Rights”, like “Respect”, are earned, not granted. The loser in a political struggle may maintain the illusion that he is granting rights to the … Continue reading

The New Normal: Regionalising both the Global and the National

By OOI KEE BENG, for The Edge Malaysia, 1 June 2020. Governance in Malaysia suffered a double whammy when the country went through a parliamentary coup that saw an insecure government take power on 1 March just in time for radical measures against the spread of Covid-19 to be put in place nationwide. In having … Continue reading

Fighting Covid-19 Helps Penang Take Charge of its Digital Future

By OOI KEE BENG, Penang Monthly Editorial, April 2020 THE PENANG STATE Government has adopted “Next Normal” as the working term to denote the immediate post-Covid-19 era. This is exciting in that it proposes that normalcy in the coming years should be perceived as dynamic – and therefore continuously transitional – rather than static. The … Continue reading

Dare to Imagine the Best Possible New Normal

By Ooi Kee Beng, in The Edge Malaysia, 26 April 2020 There were forewarnings that something like the COVID-19 Pandemic would hit the world; and yet, it came as a big surprise to most governments. To those that did act early, it was still too little and too late in most cases. The virus was … Continue reading

A Sport is an Ongoing Search for Common Ground

By OOI KEE BENG, April 2020 Editorial, Penang Monthly. IT IS STRANGELY hard to decide what a sport is; and when we do settle on a definition, it is only acceptable if we do not consider the many forms of human activities – usually from other cultures and times – which we therewith have excluded. … Continue reading