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History

This category contains 48 posts

Naming Modern Means of Mass Transport

By Ooi Kee Beng, Penang Monthly editorial, October 2018 In the age of speedy technological innovations, thinking up names for totally new things that are not created by Mother Nature but by this innovative ape we call Man has been an exciting process. The “telephone”, the “telegram” and the “television” are some easy cases in … Continue reading

Education in Southeast Asia: Disruptions are Happily at Hand

By Ooi Kee Beng Keynote speech given at the First ASEAN-Australia Education Dialogye, held at Hotel Equatorial, Penang, on 21-23 March 2018 Let me immediately say how honoured I am to be given this opportunity to state in 20 minutes some of the points about Southeast Asia’s development that I have been wanting to make … Continue reading

PODCAST: Political History and Malaysia

PODCAST on Wide Open Air Exchange: Political history and Malaysia, Dr Ooi Kee Beng – WOAE057 Dr Ooi explains some of the political history of Malaysia in relation to global history and international order and by critically analysing concepts of colonialism, nationalism and regionalism.

This is the Moment of Truth for Malaysia’s Race-based Politics

By Ooi Kee Beng, “This Week in Asia” in South China Morning Post, 6 December 2017. AFTER ALL the analysing done by pundits on Malaysia’s political dynamics in the post-Mahathir period, the country has now come to the strange point of being in a potential pre-Mahathir period. There is now the more-than-theoretical possibility that 92-year-old … Continue reading

The More Things Change, the More Things May Actually Change

By Ooi Kee Beng for The Edge, 28 August 2017 THE ELECTIONS are coming, and the array of political parties facing each other across the widening divide can be stupefying for any observer newly arrived on the Malaysian scene. It would seem therefore that a quick look at the historical context in which some of … Continue reading

One Thing is Certain—There will be More Amendments to the Constitution

By Ooi Kee Beng, Editorial, Penang Monthly, August 2017 As with all agreements, consensus and contracts, a Constitution is a hunt for a balance – and a dynamic one at that, between the expressing on one hand of lofty national aspirations and ambitions, and on the other of compromises meant to be more binding than … Continue reading

The Parochial and the Global are Intertwined

By OOI KEE BENG For The Edge, Forum July 24, 2017 In the time of Brexit and the tenure of Trump; with the triumph of Putin and the threat of Kim, instead of thinking about how Globalisation is being reversed, we should take a longer perspective and think about how the global battle in modern … Continue reading

A Convincing Case for Farquhar

The immediate success of Singapore led to a grim court battle to decide who her actual founder was. That clash continues in this new and superbly researched book. BOOK REVIEW Book review: William Farquhar and Singapore: Stepping out of Raffles’ Shadow by Nadia H. Wright. Entrepot Publishing, 2017. By OOI KEE BENG The present always … Continue reading

Humility comes from realising that all understanding is biased

By OOI KEE BENG, Editorial for Penang Monthly, March 2017. “The Present” is a strange concept. For one thing, it is really not possible to think of “The Present” without relying on images of “The Past” and imaginations of “The Future”. They are after all three sneaky sides of the same strange coin. (Yes, a … Continue reading

When are we not actors in History?

By OOI KEE BENG For THE EDGE, Malaysia; 6 March 2017. THERE IS something captivating about the generation of people in Malaysia and Singapore who were born in the decades before the Japanese occupation. The times had definitely been very uncertain throughout the region. The British colonialists were arguing among themselves about how the Southeast … Continue reading

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