Columnist

Ooi Kee Beng

Ooi Kee Beng is the deputy director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

In Malaysia, reforms take a staggered path

DEC 3 — The leader of the Youth wing declared at the Umno annual general assembly held this week that the opposition parties had been vehemently... READ MORE

Did Malaysia mature when we were not looking?

OCT 31 — The flurry of Malay organisations making the news in Malaysia bodes well for the country, whether or not these group together extreme... READ MORE

A severe test for Pakatan Rakyat

FEB 13 — It is a strange trial taking place in Malaysia at the moment; strange because no matter what the verdict turns out to be, the public... READ MORE

Church attacks — A national loosening of commitments

JAN 16 — Many relationships have changed in Malaysia over the last week, and most of them for the worse. The attacks on churches throughout... READ MORE

BTN issue is a Pandora’s Box

DEC 19 — One more Pandora’s Box was recently opened in Malaysian politics. The Youth Wing of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) managed beyond its... READ MORE

What Najib seeks is 1BN

Nov 8 — It may be saying too much to claim that Malaysia’s major political parties are self-destructing. But they are certainly not in the best... READ MORE

Imagine no Umno-MCA symbiosis

OCT 24 — The crisis within MCA is different from earlier ones because, no matter how it is solved, not having an inspiring message for the young... READ MORE

BN infighting is just beginning

SEPT 19 — Aftershocks of the dismal showing by Malaysia’s ruling coalition in last year’s general election continue to reverberate through... READ MORE

No strong MCA without a strong UMNO

SEPT 5 — Undoubtedly, the 60-year-old MCA, just like the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), its senior partner in the ruling Barisan... READ MORE

Can Najib drop ‘Malays’ from Umno?

AUG 22 — Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak is reportedly trying to get his Cabinet to drop the requirement for Malaysians to... READ MORE

The struggle for Malaysia’s political leopards to change their spots

AUG 19 — All parties agree on one thing in Malaysia at the moment, and that is that things are in flux. The politically positive trend is to... READ MORE

Let’s all be 1 Malaysians already

JULY 30 — The term “1 Malaysia” being promulgated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration has been generating steady... READ MORE

‘Remember Beng Hock’ will be a steady battle cry

JULY 20 — Whatever support Datuk Seri Najib Razak managed to gain for himself with his recent attempts at reforms has now gone out the window... READ MORE

The transformation of PAS has just begun

JUNE 10 — The national attention given the general assembly of the Islamist PAS held recently was a historical high for the party. This... READ MORE

Legacy of May 13 captured in draconian laws

MAY 9 — It is soon the 40th anniversary of the riots that broke out in Kuala Lumpur at sunset of May 13, 1969. Not many events have left as... READ MORE

So much effort by BN for so little gain

APRIL 9 — The results of the triple by-elections that the Election Commission took so much trouble to put on the same day, and a weekday at that,... READ MORE

Najib now has to deliver on his promises

APRIL 3 — Brand-new Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak is not in an enviable position. While some fear that he will try to be a second... READ MORE

Bewildered in Malaysia, perplexed in Perak, stupefied in Selangor — no wonder the masses are agitated

FEB 21 — The energy fuelling the electoral tsunami that saw members of the opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat win in five states last March was... READ MORE

A cyber war in Malaysian politics?

FEB 19 — Once upon a time, before the Internet became as common as the television in Malaysian homes, public figures made local speeches that... READ MORE

BN may pay a high price for Perak polarisation

FEB 14 — The change in government in Perak carries with it great implications for a long list of actors on both sides. The Pakatan Rakyat... READ MORE

Malaysian penchant for fast politics growing stronger

JAN 10 — Malaysian love their by-elections; and as Scandinavians like to say, “a cherished offspring is given many names”. And so, we see... READ MORE

Can Najib transform Malaysia’s and Umno’s fortunes?

DEC 6 — Throughout the latter half of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s period in power, the issue of leadership had been... READ MORE

Fighting for the urban Malay vote

DEC 3 - The initiative taken by the National Fatwa Council to forbid Malaysian Muslims from practising yoga reflects an increasing worry among... READ MORE

Putting the masses back into the mass media

NOV 26-  After the show of strength in the March 8 elections, when the opposition gained control over five states and 37per cent of the seats in... READ MORE

How to combat the crisis of credibility rocking Malaysia’s central governing bodies

NOV 22 — The record-high support for Barisan Nasional in the 2004 elections under its new chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was a loud... READ MORE

Is corruption like the common cold, or like AIDS?

NOV 8 — During his five years in power, corruption in the government’s inner organs was one of the major ills that Prime Minister Datuk Seri... READ MORE

A quantum leap awaits Umno

NOV 5 - It is now definite that Najib Abdul Razak will become the seventh president of the United Malay National Organisation (Umno). If things go... READ MORE

Can society ever extricate itself from Umno’s party penetration?

OCT 25 — The recently ignited debate about the dominant position of Umno within the ruling coalition may yet be the most fruitful of all the... READ MORE

Post-mortem necessary for Umno to understand March 8

OCT 22 - Immediately after the surprising results of Malaysia's March 8 general election became official, there was a rush by journalists,... READ MORE

Getting there is the easy part for Najib

OCT 18 — Barring any major scandals, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak is poised to become Malaysia’s Prime Minister by next March. At 55, the... READ MORE

Thorough leadership change awaits for a defensive Umno

OCT 8 — The best form of defence is a good offence. Judging from the bad shape Umno is in despite having had seven months to control the damage... READ MORE

The BN-PR match goes into extra time

By Ooi Kee Beng SEPT 24 - The Federation of Malaysia celebrated its 45th anniversary on 16 September this year. However, it was not occasion for... READ MORE

The young’s job to restart the Malaysia project

By Ooi Kee Beng SEPT 10 — Crises and opportunities are two sides of the same ringgit. Given the stream of critical moments flowing so steadily... READ MORE

Multi-racialism by default

By Ooi Kee Beng AUG 27 - Malaysia does have a veritable history of multi-racialism. It seems strange to have to state this, given how the whole... READ MORE

Old politics as new tactic

By Ooi Kee Beng AUG 13 — The high state of political activism in Malaysia which most liberals would see as a healthy sign that an engaged... READ MORE