Malaysia is no easy country to analyse, or even to understand. With so many narratives about the country, its peoples, and its histories, the noise generated — both online and off — can be as deafening as that of any rave party.
Since 2019, Malaysians have lived through a unique period in the country’s history. Amid the Covid pandemic and its many challenges, Malaysia experienced three prime minister changes, and countless other political dramas and plot twists.
Signals in the Noise is not just a book on politics, though. Moving with ease between different sociopolitical and socioeconomic discourses, this collection of Ooi Kee Beng’s columns and commentaries — published between 2019 and 2023 — showcases more than ever his talent as a historian and philosopher, alongside his prowess as a political scientist.
This wide-ranging collection is a must-read beginner’s guide to Malaysian politics. It also highlights Ooi’s love for his hometown of Penang, his concern for the environment, and how the arts define a society and its perceptions of the world.