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The Edge

This category contains 122 posts

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

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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

A National Reset Recipe: Federation Building, Global Learning and Social Justice

By OOI KEE BENG for The Edge Malaysia, 27 July 2022 FOR MALAYSIA post-­Vision 2020, what can a systemic reset mean? Will changing governments change the system enough? Will reforming this or that legislation or even a constitutional principle alter the societal dynamics of this diverse country? Maybe. Maybe not, with a much stronger leaning … Continue reading

Why Cultures Coexist Better than Ethnicities

ABOUT 30 years ago, a very influential Malaysian scholar wrote the following incisive and insightful paragraphs: “I contend that, like most social phenomena, identity formation takes place within what I would call a ‘two social reality’ context: first, the ‘authority-defined’ social reality, one which is authoritatively defined by people who are part of the dominant … Continue reading

In Many Minds about Sustainability

By Ooi Kee Beng One would think that the need for sustainability in all the major processes in human life today would not be controversial. And generally, it is not. Hardly any policy maker constructs policies without exhibiting his or her cognizance of it. No ocean liner can change course immediately, and that would seem … Continue reading

Euston Quah and the Virtues of Cost-Benefit Analysis

By Ooi Kee Beng in Penang Profile for Penang Monthly May 2022  OUR EDITOR WAS stuck in Singapore for a few weeks in 2021 during the pandemic, and took the chance to meet up with one of Penang’s many famous sons living in that city state. This was Professor Euston Quah, an old Penang Free … Continue reading

Opportunities for governance upgrade in post-pandemic phase

By OOI KEE BENG for The Edge Malaysia, April 4-10, 2022 A health pandemic hits society as a whole and therefore the lessons to be learnt from Covid-19 are many; more specifically, it tells us things about how society is organised or unorganised, whether it is managed with resilience in mind — in recognition of … Continue reading