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"Signals in the Noise: Notes on Penang, Malaysia and the World" by Ooi Kee Beng

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

We are very pleased to announce our very first title by political scientist and historian Ooi Kee Beng! Titled "Signals in the Noise: Notes on Penang, Malaysia and the World", this book is Kee Beng's ninth curated essay compilation, comprising op-eds and commentaries published between 2019 and 2023.

We first approached Kee Beng when we were in Penang for the 2022 George Town Literary Festival. On the day we met, the Pakatan Harapan-led coalition had just secured a majority in parliament, and Anwar Ibrahim finally came to power as prime minister — after waiting patiently in the wings for 24 years.

It got us talking about how Malaysians had truly lived through a unique period in the country’s history since 2019 by experiencing three prime minister changes, and countless other political dramas and plot twists. All this, amid the Covid pandemic and its many (many) challenges.

Fast forward to May 2023: Kee Beng approached Faction Press and wondered if we were interested in publishing his sociopolitical observations over the last four years. We knew we couldn't say no to this publishing project.

Signals in the Noise is not just a book on Malaysian politics, though. Across four other sections, the book showcases Kee Beng's talent in writing about his hometown of Penang, regional and geopolitics, and how the arts define a society and its perception of the world.

We hope you'll enjoy our very first title as much as we have enjoyed curating and putting it together for you.

Now, onto the logistics of getting your hands on this book when it's available from 25 November 2023: In Malaysia, Signals in the Noise can be found at all major bookstores, including Gerakbudaya Penang Bookshop, Gerakabudaya PJ Bookshop and Kinokuniya Malaysia.

On 24 November at 4.00-500pm, Kee Beng will be appearing alongside Janet Steele and James Chai at a 2023 George Town Literary Festival panel, "The Authoritative Voice: Journalism and its Travails". We will also be launching the book at Gerakbudaya PJ Bookshop (aka Hikayat) on 25 November at 7.30-8.30pm! Do join us if you're in Penang then; more details can be found here. In Singapore, the book can be found at Kinokuniya Singapore (the main store at Ngee Ann City) and Wardah Books. Alternatively, you can order the book through this website, and pick up the book from us in person to save on postage and shipping costs!

Last but not least, if you're looking to purchase a copy of the e-book version, it will be available by early December (watch this space!)

As always, please write us at if you are interested in reviewing the book, or if you have any thoughts, questions or just a burning desire to say hello!


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