What brain, what drain?

By Ooi Kee Beng

November 2010 EDITORIAL
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In the days before nation states, polities in South-East Asia were largely trading ports. These dots constituted the maritime routes along which fortune-seekers of old travelled. All sorts – those with brains as much as those with brawn – went where conditions were most promising for the moment. These could be people who originated in the region or from outside the region. This is my first point. Migration was the norm in South-East Asia. From founders of city ports like...

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Ooi Kee Beng

is the Executive Director of Penang Institute. His recent books include The Eurasian Core and its Edges: Dialogues with Wang Gungwu on the History of the World (ISEAS 2016). Homepage: wikibeng.com