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Commentaries

This category contains 261 posts

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

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

Are SDGs Enough to Moderate Neoliberal Excesses?

By Ooi Kee Beng for The Edge, Malaysia. July 28, 2019. In the period between the world wars—or more precisely, in the wake of the October Revolution in Russia and the fall of empires throughout the world; and in the midst of the 1930s’ Great Depression—a search for moderation between the capitalist world and the … Continue reading

Things Gain Value as They Disappear

By Ooi Kee Beng Editorial in Penang Monthly, July, 2019 What did heritage conservation look like or sound like in the pre-modern age when things changed slowly, and conservatism was not an ideology but a social default; when great changes that eradicated what we would today call tangible and intangible cultural heritage came only through … Continue reading

Asean’s nation-region nexus under great strain

By Ooi Kee Beng for The Edge Malaysia, July 1-7, 2019 Introvertedness is so much a part of nationalist discourses that we are often blind to it. This is as true of Malaysia as of any other country, including major powers like the US and China. The resilience of the collective state of mind that … Continue reading

Do You Remember Having a Memory?

By Ooi Kee Beng Editorial, Penang Monthly June 2019 Have you noticed that one easy way to look cool nowadays is to carry a book with you? It can sit leisurely in your hand or be lightly squeezed under your armpit. And it should preferably be a thick one. And if you don’t have a … Continue reading

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