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This category contains 306 posts

With E-learning, Universal Education Finally Comes of Age

By OOI KEE BENG, Editorial in Penang Monthly, July 2021. LIKE SO MANY generations before me have done, I associate learning with schools. With buildings to which little uniformed boys and girls trudge before the day gets warm. With teachers who share knowledge generously but who keep doubting themselves. With exams that hang like a … Continue reading

Sunzi and the Art of Bad Leadership

By OOI KEE BENG. This article first appeared in Forum, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on May 31, 2021 – June 06, 2021. LAMENTING OVER the lack of leadership grows more common by the day, especially during a crisis, be it 1997, 2008 or 2020. This is true in Malaysia and in most parts of the world — … Continue reading

Economics Understood as Soft Power Makes More and More Sense

By OOI KEE BENG, for THE EDGE MALAYSIA, 2 May 2021 “Soft Power”, the highly influential article written by Joseph Nye, published in Foreign Policy No. 80 in Autumn 1990, ends with the sentence: “The problem for U.S. power after the Cold War will be less the new challengers for hegemony than the new challenges … Continue reading

Pandemic or not, there is no such thing as “de-globalisation”

By Ooi Kee Beng, in The Edge Malaysia, 28 March 2021 WHILE THE Covid-19 pandemic is sometimes portrayed as globalisation hitting a wall, it has at the same time raised public consciousness that globalization as a whole has gone beyond a point of no return. You see that paradox in how local remedies to the … Continue reading

Fairness is the Virtue that Can Reset the World

By OOI KEE BENG For The Edge Malaysia, 28 February 2021. THE THINGS that split members of a society come in all shapes and sizes; but they all boil down to a play on the human sense of fairness. This sense can be individual or collective, current or historical; and it can be either concrete … Continue reading

Malaya Before Merdeka: Mirrored in the Life of H.S. Lee

[Author’s speech at the online Book Launch: Ooi Kee Beng: As Empires Fell. The Life and Times of Lee Hau-Shik, Malaya’s First Finance Minister (ISEAS Publishing 2020): 27 August 2020] OOI KEE BENG (Executive Director, Penang Institute; Senior Fellow, Jeffrey Cheah Institute for Southeast Asia, Sunway University, and; Visiting Senior Fellow, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak … Continue reading

Top Policy Priorities in the Wake of the Crisis

By OOI KEE BENG, Editorial, Penang Monthly, February 2021 AS COVID-19 steadily dismantles the Old Normal, our uncertainties get more and more focused on basics. No longer do we worry as much about that continually postponed overseas trip as much as we do about whether we are allowed to exercise in the neighbourhood park. No … Continue reading

In a Pandemic, Science and Statesmanship Must Tactically Converge

For The Edge Malaysia, 30 January, 2021 In times of political crisis, minds are moved to investigate fundamental concepts such as power and representation—and legitimacy, the shorthand for the relationship between these two terms. This bearing is more pertinent than ever during a pandemic. Our age—the era of the nation state—generally proffers two public arguments … Continue reading

“Reform or Fail” is the Given Slogan for Malaysia’s Next Election

By Ooi Kee Beng, For The Edge Malaysia, 27 December 2020 – 2 January 2021 IN A CRISIS, especially one as globe-spanning as the Covid-19 pandemic, society gets defensive and social interactions become apprehensive. Outsiders are eyed suspiciously and parochial tendencies grow strong. The moral capacity of individuals is put to the test. The immediate … Continue reading

Individual Malaysians Embody Society’s Diversity

By OOI KEE BENG for The Edge Malaysia, November 30, 2020 Malaysia is a country where identity politics has been running rampant for decades and where multiple layers of “us-versus-them” awareness has drawn public attention away from commonalities and undermined the high degree of cultural integration evident in its peri-urban and urban population. Comprehensive politicisation … Continue reading