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The Edge

This category contains 108 posts

Nationhood is Born of Inclusiveness in Politics and Integrative Dynamics in Economics

By Ooi Kee Beng Defining terms at the start of an important discussion is necessary if one is not to get lost in misunderstandings. With that brief preamble, let me take issue with the term “Nation Building” and the dangers of it being used as loosely as is done in Malaysian discourses. We tend to … Continue reading

Leaders who Divide to Rule End up too Divided to Rule

By Ooi Kee Beng, for The Edge Malaysia, August 30- Sept 5, 2021 ONE HEARS ABOUT countries that are ungovernable. These are societies too divided, too unintegrated and too unregimented for a government to knit together. We can call them failed states for being on the verge of crumbling into separate political entities or we … Continue reading

The Future Belongs to the Young, But Only If They Fight for It

By Ooi Kee Beng, in The Edge Malaysia, 31 July 2021 Max Planck, the German scientist whose discoveries in Physics laid the foundations for quantum theory, famously said that “a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents die, and a new … Continue reading

Working in Silos Becomes the Norm when Merit Systems are Shunned

By OOI KEE BENG Recently, former trade minister Rafidah Aziz entertained Malaysia with her comment that the idea that Malaysians like to working in silos was not really accurate since silos are places huge enough for significant things to happen. Chimneys, she thinks, is a better description of the country’s professional preference to keep things … Continue reading

Economics Understood as Soft Power Makes More and More Sense

By OOI KEE BENG, for THE EDGE MALAYSIA, 2 May 2021 “Soft Power”, the highly influential article written by Joseph Nye, published in Foreign Policy No. 80 in Autumn 1990, ends with the sentence: “The problem for U.S. power after the Cold War will be less the new challengers for hegemony than the new challenges … Continue reading

Pandemic or not, there is no such thing as “de-globalisation”

By Ooi Kee Beng, in The Edge Malaysia, 28 March 2021 WHILE THE Covid-19 pandemic is sometimes portrayed as globalisation hitting a wall, it has at the same time raised public consciousness that globalization as a whole has gone beyond a point of no return. You see that paradox in how local remedies to the … Continue reading

Fairness is the Virtue that Can Reset the World

By OOI KEE BENG For The Edge Malaysia, 28 February 2021. THE THINGS that split members of a society come in all shapes and sizes; but they all boil down to a play on the human sense of fairness. This sense can be individual or collective, current or historical; and it can be either concrete … Continue reading

In a Pandemic, Science and Statesmanship Must Tactically Converge

For The Edge Malaysia, 30 January, 2021 In times of political crisis, minds are moved to investigate fundamental concepts such as power and representation—and legitimacy, the shorthand for the relationship between these two terms. This bearing is more pertinent than ever during a pandemic. Our age—the era of the nation state—generally proffers two public arguments … Continue reading

“Reform or Fail” is the Given Slogan for Malaysia’s Next Election

By Ooi Kee Beng, For The Edge Malaysia, 27 December 2020 – 2 January 2021 IN A CRISIS, especially one as globe-spanning as the Covid-19 pandemic, society gets defensive and social interactions become apprehensive. Outsiders are eyed suspiciously and parochial tendencies grow strong. The moral capacity of individuals is put to the test. The immediate … Continue reading

Individual Malaysians Embody Society’s Diversity

By OOI KEE BENG for The Edge Malaysia, November 30, 2020 Malaysia is a country where identity politics has been running rampant for decades and where multiple layers of “us-versus-them” awareness has drawn public attention away from commonalities and undermined the high degree of cultural integration evident in its peri-urban and urban population. Comprehensive politicisation … Continue reading