This tag is associated with 4 posts

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


The More Individual Stories We Acknowledge, the More Authentic Our National History

PENANG MONTHLY, Feature Story February 2015 by Ooi Kee Beng Cultures are defined by their literature. In fact, in Chinese – classical or modern – the same term is used for both. What this tells us is that a country’s self-consciousness is vibrant and alive only if writing is strongly encouraged among its population. See … Continue reading


Xenophobia signals crisis

By OOI KEE BENG Editorial for Penang Monthly, July 2014. A CLEAR CONNECTION seems to exist between an economy’s health, on the one hand, and that society’s handling of religious and ethnic minorities, on the other. In fact, I would venture that one can best identify a society in crisis by studying the xenophobic tendencies … Continue reading


Three-tiered Social Darwinism in Malaysia

By Ooi Kee Beng in Southeast Asian Studies Vol 41. No. 2, September 2003 [http://www.cseas.kyoto-u.ac.jp/seas/41/2/410202.pdf ] Abstract Eurocentrism continues to inform the political discourses of former colonies like Malaysia to a large extent. Solid ethnicities were constructed and concretized, first conceptually and later through institutional means, to ease the governance of distant lands by Europeans … Continue reading