This category contains 23 posts

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

PODCAST: Political History and Malaysia

PODCAST on Wide Open Air Exchange: Political history and Malaysia, Dr Ooi Kee Beng – WOAE057 Dr Ooi explains some of the political history of Malaysia in relation to global history and international order and by critically analysing concepts of colonialism, nationalism and regionalism.

A Convincing Case for Farquhar

The immediate success of Singapore led to a grim court battle to decide who her actual founder was. That clash continues in this new and superbly researched book. BOOK REVIEW Book review: William Farquhar and Singapore: Stepping out of Raffles’ Shadow by Nadia H. Wright. Entrepot Publishing, 2017. By OOI KEE BENG The present always … Continue reading

Seeking a New Formula to Unite Malaysia’s Diversity

Ooi Kee Beng For The Straits Times 26 August 2016 The issue of Bangsa Johor (Johor nationality) made national news again on Wednesday, when former prime minister Mahathir Mohamed was asked about it at a forum on relations between the federal government and state governments. Asked about Johor’s separation from Malaysia, a national concern fanned … Continue reading

The Hills ‘R’ Us

By Ooi Kee Beng, editorial for Penang Monthly, December 2015. Natural resources are always good to have. If rightly used, they are the basis not only for an economy’s path of growth, but also for its international identity. Having said that, it is not always easy to recognize a valuable natural resource. Something that is an asset … Continue reading

Is Malaysia at a Crossroads or in a Quagmire?

By Ooi Kee Beng for The Edge Malaysia, 28 December 2015. Malaysia has drawn the attention of the global community in recent times, and this has largely been much more as negative publicity than positive. Just last Thursday, the European Parliament passed a resolution deploring “the deteriorating human rights situation in Malaysia and in particular the … Continue reading

Faster Pace of Change is upon Southeast Asia

By Ooi Kee Beng, for The Edge Malaysia, 30 November 2015 In recent weeks, the Southeast Asian region has been getting more global attention than it is used to, or is in fact comfortable with. But while governments there have for years been reiterating ASEAN Centrality as the cornerstone of their foreign policy, most of … Continue reading