The Edge

This category contains 127 posts

Why Malaysia Always Feels More Likely to Fail than Succeed

By Ooi Kee Beng For The Edge Malaysia (Column “Picking on the Present”), 27 May to 3 June 2023 New nations by virtue of being “new”, suffer immediate ontological challenges. Not only does this concern its very existence as an integrated geographical entity, a national economy and a united polity, but also its acceptance by … Continue reading

Building Community through Daily Life is the Way to Reset Nation-building

By OOI KEE BENG, in “Picking on the Present”, for The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on April 24-30, 2023 Allow me to dream a while about Malaysia. Malaysia is a divided country, but it is often stated how lucky a place it must be for it to have functioned so peacefully despite the odds stacked against it … Continue reading

The Anatomy of Disunity in Malaysia

By Ooi Kee Beng, in The Edge Malaysia (Picking on the Present), 26-31 March 2023 WE GET TO know what White is by knowing what Black is, and then deepen our understanding of them by fathoming how the two interact. The same goes for Unity, the operative term in Malaysian governance today, and understanding it … Continue reading

Malaysia’s Moral Revival is Anwar’s Bridge Between Divergent Discourses

“There has thus been a strong push in Malaysian political life since 1998 for systemic changes, which has profoundly informed the political thinking of a generation or two of Malaysians. A proper culmination has been necessary. We thought 2018 was that culmination, but it was not. Now we hope that 2022 is that culmination.” By … Continue reading

Anwar Must Pull Malaysia out of its Self-made Hole

By Ooi Kee Beng, “Picking on the Present”, column for The Edge Malaysia, 28 January to 3 February 2023 It had seemed obvious to some observers of Malaysian politics back in 2008, after the fateful elections that saw five states fall into the hands of the opposition and the Barisan Nasional (BN) lose its super-majority … Continue reading

For the Unity Government, a Search for the Middle Ground

By Ooi Kee Beng, Picking on the Present column in The Edge Malaysia, 26 December 2022 A UNITY GOVERNMENT never sounds like something one should be opposed to, and for good reasons. What is interesting about such a government though, is that they become necessary in a democracy when the posturing and the stances taken … Continue reading

Time to Go Beyond the Exigencies of Early Nationhood

By OOI KEE BENG. The Edge Malaysia, 21-27 November 2022 THE TRANSITION FROM colonialism to national independence did not start and end with celebrations on Aug 31, 1957. For starters, it was not so much national independence that was nominally declared that day as the founding of a new country. That country — Malaya — … Continue reading

A Deeply Transformed Political Landscape Calls for Confident Voters

By OOI KEE BENG, The Edge Malaysia, October 24-30, 2022 MUCH HAS HAPPENED in Malaysia over the last 25 years. Not only that, in fact, so much profound change has happened to the political landscape in the country that it is now actually quite unrecognisable. I returned to the region in 2004, just after Tun … Continue reading

Malaysia Is A Federation, So Let’s Act Like [It Is] One

By OOI KEE BENG. This article first appeared in Forum, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on September 26, 2022 – October 02, 2022. SOME CAMPAIGN ISSUES for the next general election are already becoming clear. But much still depends on how the coalitional possibilities work out. Should the Malay-based parties manage to come together for electoral expediency and … Continue reading

The Trap of Victimhood in the Building of Nationhood

By OOI KEE BENG, in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on August 29, 2022 – September 04, 2022. MERDEKA! I was two years old when the Federation of Malaya gained independence from Great Britain. So, in essential ways, I was born to be free. Born into a country being allowed to empower itself in the Age of Nations … Continue reading