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The Edge

This category contains 75 posts

Reforming Malaysia is a Matter of Time and Timing

By Ooi Kee Beng For The Edge, 26 October 2018 Toppling a regime that had been in power for 61 years was forbidding, to say the least. But Malaysia’s voters managed to pull it off at the ballot box on May 9 this year. And it was done without any accompanying subsequent incident of violence, … Continue reading

Listen up, Malaysians! You are now individually the agents of change

By Ooi Kee Beng, for The Edge Malaysia, 30 September 2018; and in Penang Monthly, November 2018. One of the greatest challenges that faces a society coming out of a period of authoritarian rule and bad governance is the need to break away from looking to political initiatives and to politicians as the way to … Continue reading

Taking the legacy of systemic racialism seriously

By OOI KEE BENG, for The Edge Malaysia, 1 September 2018 The intuitive conclusion drawn by many that a sea change took place when the government in Malaysia changed hands on May 9, 2018, has its merits. But as in all functioning democracies—and nowadays I count Malaysia among them—a majority vote generally means that almost … Continue reading

The Deep Historical Significance of the 14th General Election*

[Published as “Revisiting national history and the significance of GE14”, in The Edge, Malaysia, 30 July 2018]. By Ooi Kee Beng Whatever one’s politics may be, one has to admit that the origins of the Federation of Malaysia are complicated and are overlaps of compromises made over time to define a middle ground that was … 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

Words Cannot Carry Meaning the Way Actions Do

By Ooi Kee Beng, for The Edge Weekly, March 26, 2018 Humans will always go into conflicts. It is understandable, and even acceptable when these are due to irreconcilable differences in material interests, be these economic in nature or cultural. But more often than not, conflicts grow out of differences in the words used rather … Continue reading

Individual freedom is a matter of national survival

By Ooi Kee Beng, for The Edge Malaysia, Feb 26 – Mar 4, 2018 A new era is upon us. This is no longer a controversial statement as far as I can gather. Indeed, it is a boring truism by now. A new page in our already speedy times has been turned, and it is … Continue reading

Spiralling back towards Reformasi

By Ooi Kee Beng This article first appeared as “Back to Reformasi” in Forum, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on January 29, 2018 – February 04, 2018. The return of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to the forefront of Malaysian politics at the age of 92 — 19 years after he sacked his deputy … Continue reading

We are equal only through our vote

By Ooi Kee Beng For The Edge Malaysia, December 25-31, 2017. Reprinted in Penang Monthly, February 2018. 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 … Continue reading

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