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archives

Penang Monthly [formerly Penang Economic Monthly]

This category contains 104 posts

Reading and Writing Yourself Free

By Ooi Kee Beng, Editorial for Penang Monthly, November 2018. The basis for human liberty as we understand it today was laid with the advent of universal literacy. When reading and writing stopped being the sole right of royal scribes and religious leaders in a given society, and when vernacular languages – i.e. languages actually … Continue reading

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

Now that Cavemen Have Conquered the Earth…

By Ooi Kee Beng; Penang Monthly Editorial September, 2018 When we were cavemen, we lived in caves. And in the thousands of years since then, we have lived in everything else – from lean-tos to tents to log cabins to mud huts to houses and to condominiums. But in essence, we have remained the same. … Continue reading

Mind the Young Mind

By OOI KEE BENG, Editorial in Penang Monthly, August 2018. It is often claimed that traditional Asian ways of teaching encourage students to memorise facts – so-called rote learning. The Western way, in contradistinction to this, it is claimed, is to teach children to think for themselves and to be critical – to be analytical. … Continue reading

All the World’s a Stage, and Who Else but We are Responsible for the Upkeep of the Theatre

By OOI KEE BENG Penang Monthly Editorial July, 2018 All things change. We can all agree on that. But what the density and swiftness of change in modern living have taught us is that there are harsh limits. We are not passive beings in the big scheme of things; and we are not unconditionally surviving. … Continue reading

A Malaysian Spring for its Intelligentsia?

By Ooi Kee Beng, for The Edge Malaysia, 24 June – 1 July, 2018. Republished in the “Picking on the Pas” column in Penang Monthly, August 2018. I know Malaysia is a tropical country, but let’s adopt a concept from temperate zones without having to be politically sensitive about it. We are in the midst … Continue reading

In Lieu of Race and Religion

By Ooi Kee Beng, in the column, “Picking on the Past”, first printed in The Edge Malaysia, 27 May – 2 June, 2018. One can easily see how southern Southeast Asia, being largely maritime, ethnically very diverse and historically and geo-economically a collection of trade routes, in dividing itself into zealous and jealous nation states … 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

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

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