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The Edge

This category contains 66 posts

We are equal only through our vote

By Ooi Kee Beng The Edge Malaysia December 25-31, 2017 Freedom cannot be understood apart from power. Like with all good dichotomies, it is never clear where the one turns into the other, or lives off the other. Today, it is a staple in management courses and sloganeering to talk about empowering employees. “Empower” is … Continue reading

Undermining extremism by telling individual stories

By Ooi Kee Beng for The Edge Malaysia Weekly, November 27, 2017 – December 03, 2017. Strangely, moderation is not a subject that needs to be discussed and elaborated upon. It is the default position in any stable society. Instead, it is the nature of extremism — especially when it is happily growing within a … Continue reading

No need to let bigots dictate policy

By OOI KEE BENG, for The Edge Malaysia, 23 October 2017. A nation starts building itself long before the nation-state is established. There were Germans before Germany was established, and there were Italians before Italy was founded. There were definitely Malayans with a sense of being Malayans before Malaya was founded in 1957. Where the … Continue reading

The Diminishing of Humans Through Identity Politics

By Ooi Kee Beng, “Picking on the Past”; Column in Penang Monthly, November 2017 (earlier version published in Forum, The Edge, Malaysia, 25 September 2017). Who am I? A simple question to ask oneself, and yet, no simple answer suggests itself. As long as the issue is about the singular person, it appears to be … 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

We no longer have real time

By Ooi Kee Beng The Edge Malaysia Weekly (June 26-July 02, 2017). You know that you are living in the 21st century when you wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is reach across the bed — not to caress your spouse, but to embrace your smartphone. After all, it has … Continue reading

Nothing like a Good Disaster to Keep Us Humble

By Ooi Kee Beng The Edge Malaysia Weekly (May 2017) Humans are land animals. The history of humanity has been largely played out on land. The sea was something that rivers emptied into, and much of seafaring had hugged coastlines. Lakes were simply smaller seas. Access to fresh water, though, is vital to human life. … Continue reading

Can Southeast Asia Afford to Prioritize the SDGs?

By OOI KEE BENG For The Edge, Malaysia. 1 May 2017. Although one may forgive those who laugh off the Sustainable Development Goals developed by the United Nations in 2015 as a vain exercise to create Heaven on Earth, it is nevertheless vital for the credibility of goals that seek to change the direction of … Continue reading

Dialogue with a KL cabbie

By Ooi Kee Beng For The Edge Malaysia, 27 March 2017. Also published in Penang Monthly, May 2017. I paid at the counter for a taxi at KLIA2 a few weeks ago to take me to Bandar Sunway. My cabbie was an elderly Malay man who liked quoting Shakespeare. (Well, he was somewhat older even … 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