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This category contains 331 posts

What Do Straits Do—Separate or Connect? [Part One]

By Ooi Kee Beng, EDITORIAL in Penang Monthly, June 20 DOES THE PENANG Strait separate Seberang Perai from Penang Island or does it connect one to the other? This question is not as glib as it may sound at first reading. We do think of bodies of water as things that separate the pieces of … Continue reading

Malaysians Must Surely Be Tired to Death of Racialism By Now

By OOI KEE BENG, for THE EDGE MALAYSIA, 28 June – 3 July 2022 The Covid-19 pandemic experience has brought with it profound changes in the mindset of all of us who have had to rethink their lives, their work, and their ambitions. The term The Great Resignation has been bandied around to denote the … Continue reading

Relating Tales of Dislocated Culture

INTERVIEW with Souvantham Thammavongsa By Ooi Kee Beng May 2022 FEATURE in Penang Monthly AUTHOR SOUVANKHAM THAMMAVONGSA’S initially hesitant demeanour over Zoom belies the writing style of her debut short story collection, How to Pronounce Knife. She mobilises everyday words and turns of phrase to rouse readers from emotional lethargy, rewarding them in the process with jabs … Continue reading

In Many Minds about Sustainability

By Ooi Kee Beng One would think that the need for sustainability in all the major processes in human life today would not be controversial. And generally, it is not. Hardly any policy maker constructs policies without exhibiting his or her cognizance of it. No ocean liner can change course immediately, and that would seem … Continue reading

On Urbanity and Wealth, and the Future of the Countryside

By Ooi Kee Beng Editorial in Penang Monthly, May 2022 URBANISATION IS AN oft-cited sign of radical socio-economic changes in a country. The process at some point could be one of necessity, where the agricultural sector has undergone such huge disruptions that unemployed agricultural workers have to leave the pastoral lifestyle to live in squalid … Continue reading

Opportunities for governance upgrade in post-pandemic phase

By OOI KEE BENG for The Edge Malaysia, April 4-10, 2022 A health pandemic hits society as a whole and therefore the lessons to be learnt from Covid-19 are many; more specifically, it tells us things about how society is organised or unorganised, whether it is managed with resilience in mind — in recognition of … Continue reading

The Podcast – Relief for the Distracted

By OOI KEE BENG, Editorial for Penang Monthly, April 2022 THE RADIO WAS the key vehicle for the spread of popular music during my generation. In Penang, where would all those who were in their teens have listened to good and varied pop music if we had not easily tuned in to “The Voice of … Continue reading

Respect All Persons, and Gender and Other Equalities Will Follow

By OOI KEE BENG, March 2022 Editorial for Penang Monthly. IT IS UNFORTUNATE that in most minds, the term “Feminism” more often than not, merely raises issues regarding the relatively-disadvantaged status of women as measured against male conditions and criteria. First of all, what’s gallingly wrong with this is the inherent absence of a critical … Continue reading

Malaysia’s Post-2020 Future Must Be Built from Below

By OOI KEE BENG, for The Edge Malaysia, 26 February 2022 How has Covid changed you? It’s been two whole years now since Covid-19 began affecting the lives of all of us in Malaysia. The first MCO, which lasted four weeks, began on 18 March 2020. “2020”, the year that had held so much promise … Continue reading

Is Man’s Ultimate Success His Ultimate Failure?

By OOI KEE BENG, Penang Monthly Editorial, February 2022 THROUGHOUT THE history of life, all life forms have had to adapt to environmental conditions beyond their control as best they can. Where environmental changes have been fast and catastrophic, species go into extinction. Homo sapiens seem clearly to be a different breed. Through the use … Continue reading