Speaking Of Asia

How to start a revolution - a Malaysian primer

It is heady days in Malaysia, just as it was after similar departures of unpopular leaders in the Philippines and India. Much work remains to replace the old political system.


PETALING JAYA • It is a great pity that Professor Gene Sharp, perhaps the 20th century's best-known scholar of non-violent revolutions, died this January, days after his 90th birthday.

Prof Sharp's theories have found immense traction with political movements around the world, including in the push for democracy in Myanmar that led to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's installation as national leader. Given the developments of last week, Malaysia's change of governing coalition after 60 years could well soon be added to textbook cases of "How to Start a Revolution" - which is what the documentary on the scholar's life was named.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2018, with the headline 'How to start a revolution - a Malaysian primer'. Print Edition | Subscribe