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This category contains 221 posts

Speaking truth to power

Book review by Ooi Kee Beng (Lim Teck Ghee: Challenging Malaysia’s Status Quo. SIRD: 2018) In Mekong Review, April 2018. The easy access to information that the digital revolution has brought us has altered how we handle facts and how our cognitive processes work. Our reading habits today are characterised by impatience; we want information … Continue reading

Outraged Enough to Go Vote or Cynical Enough to Stay Home?

By Ooi Kee Beng Cover story in Penang Monthly, April 2018 The world may be stunned by the enormity of national scandals that have hit Malaysia and further dazed by the flippant official explanations that accompany them. Yet, the ruling BN remains expressly confident of victory in the coming elections. A high enough voter turnout, … Continue reading

A Final Quarrel Between a Repentant Grandfather and Old-fashioned Self-absorbed Parents

By Ooi Kee Beng Penang Monthly Editorial for April 2018 As the 14th general election draws near, the sense that Malaysia – and the whole Asia-Pacific region, for that matter – must now leap into a new era is growing stronger by the day. What seems common to advanced countries and developing countries alike is … Continue reading

Words Cannot Carry Meaning the Way Actions Do

By Ooi Kee Beng, for The Edge Weekly, March 26, 2018 Humans will always go into conflicts. It is understandable, and even acceptable when these are due to irreconcilable differences in material interests, be these economic in nature or cultural. But more often than not, conflicts grow out of differences in the words used rather … Continue reading

Why Meet the 21st Century with 20th Century Mindsets?

By OOI KEE BENG, Editorial, Penang Monthly March 2018. We should not forget that in the days before social media and news websites, the flow of information – basically through schools and through daily newspapers, television and radio stations – was highly centralised and easily controlled. Then came the 1990s, and the internet took over … Continue reading

Individual freedom is a matter of national survival

By Ooi Kee Beng, for The Edge Malaysia, Feb 26 – Mar 4, 2018 A new era is upon us. This is no longer a controversial statement as far as I can gather. Indeed, it is a boring truism by now. A new page in our already speedy times has been turned, and it is … Continue reading

Penang should make the most of transiting cruise tourists

By OOI KEE BENG, Editorial in Penang Monthly, February 2018 I assume anyone reading this has some time or other been one of those strange global creatures, disliked by some for their transient but disruptive presence and loved by others for their willingness to consume hastily and at inflated prices. I am talking about tourists. … Continue reading

Spiralling back towards Reformasi

By Ooi Kee Beng This article first appeared as “Back to Reformasi” in Forum, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on January 29, 2018 – February 04, 2018. The return of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to the forefront of Malaysian politics at the age of 92 — 19 years after he sacked his deputy … Continue reading

Why the opposition has a shot at toppling the Barisan Nasional with Mahathir at the helm

With the announcement that Mahathir is the opposition’s pick for prime minister should they win the next election, UMNO can expect a credible challenge on its home turf, says Penang Institute’s Dr Ooi Kee Beng. By Ooi Kee Beng, for Channel News Asia, 08 Jan 2018 KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s parliament will be dissolved sometime during … Continue reading

Growing Old and Staying Young in a Brave New World

OOI KEE BENG, Editorial for Penang Monthly, January, 2018. The ICT revolution has been taking place all my adult life: I bought my first home computer in 1990 when I was 35, my first mobile phone a decade later, and then my first smartphone about a decade after that. I am already into my fifth … Continue reading

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