Date: 18 OCTOBER 2013 (FRIDAY)
Time: 8.00 PM TO 10.30 PM
Venue: 10TH FLOOR, SYMPHONY SUITES,
JALAN RAJA DR. NAZRIN SHAH (GOPENG ROAD), IPOH
REGISTRATION FEE: RM50/= PER PERSON (inclusive of dinner)
Dr Ooi Kee Beng is Deputy Director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore, where he has been attached since 2004. He was born and raised in Penang, and was a journalist with The Straits Echo before leaving for Stockholm University in 1978. He 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 worked at Ericsson Electronics in Sweden for 22 years while studying and lecturing at Stockholm University.
His key books include Done Making Do: 1Party Rule Ends in Malaysian (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); March 8: Eclipsing May 13 (2008); Lost in Transition: Malaysia under Abdullah. (2008); Continent Coast Ocean: Dynamics of Regionalism in Eastern Asia (2007); and The Reluctant Politician: Tun Dr Ismail and His Time (2006). The last two won major awards.
He writes regular opinion pieces on Malaysian and general matters for regional and global mass media, including The Edge. (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 founder-editor of ISEAS Perspective.
Dr Goh Keng Swee was born in Melaka in 1918. His family moved to Singapore when he was two years old, and so he grew up in the major city in the British Malaya. He would, alongside Lee Kuan Yew and S. Rajaratnam, become a major nation builder of independent Singapore after 1965. Dr Goh was socially involved and politically interested already before the Second World War, when he was still a student. Together with others, including Abdul Razak Hussein, Mohamed Sopiee and Fred Arulanandum, he founded the Malayan Forum in London in the late 1940s. He excelled in economic studies and his early research, especially Urban Incomes & Housing: A Report on the Social Survey of Singapore, 1953-54, had a great impact on young intellectuals in Malaya, including friends like James Puthucheary. For those interested in understanding the complexity of early nation-building efforts of Malaya, and the thinking behind much of these, the tense separation between Malaysia and Singapore in 1965 has been a tremendous conceptual hindrance. In Singapore itself, it is quite difficult today to study the background of any major national institute without being faced with the astounding fact that most of them were founded by Dr Goh, or through his persistent encouragement. Undeniably, the Malaysia envisaged by leaders living in Singapore had the city playing the central role in its future; and economic growth was considered fundamental to all other developments.