//
archives

Commentaries

This category contains 292 posts

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

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