Executive Director

ooi kee beng2 Dato’ Dr Ooi Kee Beng received his Ph.D. in Sinology from Stockholm University, and has been working on nation-building in Asia and Malaysian politics over the last two decades. He has been with Penang Institute since 2009 and was appointed Executive Director in 2017.

Prior to that appointment, he was the Deputy Director of ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore (2011-2017). Before returning to the region, he worked at Ericsson Electronics in Sweden for 22 years while studying in Stockholm University, and lecturing in Chinese History, Chinese Philosophy and General Knowledge of China.

He writes regular opinion pieces for regional and global mass media on Malaysian matters (These can be accessed at www.wikibeng.com). He was Visiting Associate Professor at the City University of Hong Kong (2009-2012); Adjunct Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore’s Department of Southeast Asian Studies; Honorary Chair for the Penang Study Cluster at Penang Institute; and Editor of Penang Institute’s Penang Monthly (www.penangmonthly.com). He is the founder of Penang Monthly (Penang Institute) and ISEAS Perspective (ISEAS), of which he is now Managing Editor. He is also Series Editor for Trends in Southeast Asia (ISEAS).

His books have won the following awards:

1. Award of Excellence for Best writing published in book form or any aspect of Asia (non-fiction) at the Asian Publishing Convention Awards 2008, for The Reluctant Politician: Tun Dr Ismail and His Time (ISEAS 2007)

2. Top Academic Work awarded in 2008 by ASEAN Book Publishers Association (ABPA) to Continent, Coast, Ocean: Dynamics of Regionalism in Eastern Asia (ATMA &amp ISEAS, 2007), co-edited with Ding Choo Ming

Major works include the following:

  • Catharsis: A Second Chance for Democracy in Malaysia (2018)
  • Yusof Ishak: A Man of Many Firsts (2017)
  • The Eurasian Core & Its Edges: Dialogues with Wang Gungwu on the History of the World (2015)
  • Merdeka for the Mind. Essays on Malaysian Struggles in the 21st Century (2015) (Editor)
  • The Third ASEAN Reader (2015) (Editor)
  • Done Making Do: 1Party Rule Ends in Malaysia (Genta Media & ISEAS 2013)
  • The Right to Differ: A Biographical Sketch of Lim Kit Siang (2011)
  • In Lieu of Ideology: An Intellectual Biography of Goh Keng Swee (2010)
  • Malaya’s First Year at the United Nations (2009) (co-edited with Taufik Ismail)
  • March 8: Eclipsing May 13 (2008) (co-authored with Johan Saravanamuttu & Lee Hock Guan)