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This category contains 29 posts

Nicol David: So Much Done, So Much to Do

By OOI KEE BENG, April 2021, Penang Monthly DATO’ NICOL DAVID was the first famous personality to be profiled by Penang Monthly. This was in February 2010, in the magazine’s third issue, in an article titled “Meeting a Legend that Grows and Grows”. Much ink has been printed since then, and much water has flowed under the bridge. Ooi … Continue reading

Amused at Fort Cornwallis

By OOI KEE BENG. Penang Monthly Editorial April 20201 AT THE WATER’s edge, my soul sighs. This has something to do with the sound of waves. Things may seem serene, but I cannot forget the power the sea withholds. I am lured by the ceaseless roll of water on sand the way I am persuaded … Continue reading

Southeast Asia Needs to Stop Being a Frontline for Global Conflicts

By OOI KEE BENG, in The Compass, December 2020 #6, Jeffrey Cheah Institute for Southeast Asia. THE TWO-YEAR-OLD trade war between the United States and China is in many ways a proxy conflict, the real issues not merely being about trade conditions but more being about the global strategical and ideological issues that have emerged … Continue reading

Gender Relations: A Wrestle or a Dance?

    By OOI KEE BENG, Penang Monthly editorial, March 2021. SOCIOLOGY IS THE study of how a certain society functions, and central to that ambition is the study of how different genders relate to each other in that society. Getting to know the latter, however, requires socio-psychological insights into how the power relations between … 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

To Live and Let Live, You Need Sustainability Thinking

By Ooi Kee Beng, Penang Monthly Editorial, December 2020 THERE IS A persistent trend in the thinking of the people of Penang which is not easily named, but discerning it helps explain why civil society activism is so strong in a place that at the same time is renowned for being languidly contented. Much has … Continue reading

Malaysia’s political chess games are not over

By Ooi Kee Beng, For CNA Commentary, 2 November 2020 PENANG: Using legalist or technical language to explain Malaysian politics in the significant and tumultuous year of 2020 is not really going to capture the essence of what has been unfolding over the last eight months. A longer historical vantage point, coupled with the immediate recognition … Continue reading

A Tsunami of Cultural Disruptions is on the Horizon

By Ooi Kee Beng, Penang Monthly editorial, January 2019 The digital revolution that in recent years has been pigeonholed as Industry 4.0 in reality transforms modern life in more ways than merely through new products, new production processes and new consumption patterns. No doubt it has transformed the taxi industry and is undermining the hotel … Continue reading

Is Malaysian political behaviour naturally passive-aggressive?

By Ooi Kee Beng, for The Edge Malaysia, December 4, 2018. Long before Malaya could be conceived of as a nation, politics on the peninsula had been defined by identity. We blame the British for starting it all — excessively no doubt, as an easy disclaimer to please our own conscience. They supposedly divided their … Continue reading

Outraged Enough to Go Vote or Cynical Enough to Stay Home?

By Ooi Kee Beng Cover story in Penang Monthly, April 2018 The world may be stunned by the enormity of national scandals that have hit Malaysia and further dazed by the flippant official explanations that accompany them. Yet, the ruling BN remains expressly confident of victory in the coming elections. A high enough voter turnout, … Continue reading