Urging Malaysians and leaders everywhere to take lessons from the events in Tunisia and Egypt, the daughter of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has warned that such explosion of anger could also be repeated in Malaysia.
"We should watch closely this historic moment in the MENA [Middle East and North Africa] and learn the many lessons from there. And let us never think that such a revolution can’t happen here.
"As MENA leaders are finding, never be foolish enough to say never," wrote Marina Mahathir in her regular column in The Star.
Marina said the argument that people just took to the streets because it was a fad was wrong, and said the blame should go to rulers who manipulate elections to prolong their dictatorships.
"We have to realise that people don’t revolt just to be trendy. The Middle East has been ripe for this for a long time.
"Long-standing leaders rule them with iron hands, rigging votes as well as disallowing their people of much freedom," she said.
'Lesson for leaders'
Marina said the unprecendented protests can be attributed to a rising educated population which does not commensurate creation of better jobs and income.
"Nothing could be more dangerous for leaders than to educate young people for jobs that do not exist. Couple that with a failing economy which depletes people’s already low standards of living and a refusal to address those issues, then you provide kindling dry enough to be set alight with any match.
"This should be a lesson for leaders everywhere," added Marina.
Marina also lamented what she called "silence" of Malaysians to the hard facts of Egyptian life which triggered the protests, and said Malaysians should also be concerned with the issues there "apart from ensuring our students are safe".