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archives

Penang Monthly [formerly Penang Economic Monthly]

This category contains 150 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

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

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

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

Beasts are ‘Us’: The Merging of Man, Nature and Animal in Zodiac Systems

By OOI KEE BENG, Penang Monthly Feature, February 2022 THE CRUCIAL position that animals have in human civilization is an intriguing one. Taming animals for labour and transport or for food and company is a criterion of civilization, as is the worship or contempt, as the case may be, of chosen animals in certain cases. … Continue reading

The Intriguing Invention of “Zero” and “One”

By Ooi Kee Beng Penang Monthly, November 2021 EDITORIAL ZEROES AND ONES fill our world today. The binary code that powers our computers could of course have been signified by other, even arbitrary, symbols, but they are not. Instead, they are based on Zeros and Ones. But what is “O”, and what is “1”? Imagining Zero … Continue reading

Having had So Much Time to Think Recently, We Should Now Be Able to Act Smarter

By Ooi Kee Beng. Editorial in Penang Monthly, October 2021 WISDOM COMES MOST easily to the recluse; that’s a process long been recognised and advocated throughout human history, and in most societies and civilisations. But that epiphanic effect, by its very nature, is not for sharing with the rest of society, and cannot but befall … Continue reading