COMMENT | There is a whole lot of
dumb going around now. Since the hegemon is making every card in the
deck a racial one, aggrieved Malay supremacists have been tripping over
themselves attempting to remain relevant at a time when the Malay
community is divided and Malay political parties are wondering who
exactly a majority of the Malay community - in the peninsula - will vote
for. A decisive majority is needed for the winner to claim that the
party is the only one that can defend “bangsa” and “maruah”.
Perkasa has been wondering around like a headless chicken attempting
to please many Malay masters but only managing to further expose the
scam that the BN is anything but a vehicle for a kleptocratic racial
hegemon. While Perkasa comes out sounding like the village idiot, groups
such as Isma (Malaysian Muslim Solidarity) have a strong consistent
message of racial and religious supremacy, bolstered by a cadre of
Muslim professionals who engage in sophisticated rhetorical legerdemain
to subvert the democratic process in favour of Umno, although they claim
the mantle of “independent” Malay/Muslim opinion shapers.
Perkasa meanwhile is waging a muddled war on two fronts, the first
with MIC and the second, with MCA. While certain Umno personalities
rightly point out that Perkasa is a joke, the reality is that much of
what Perkasa advocates is in line with mainstream Malay thought even
though the community is fractured and not along ideological lines but
along party (political) lines.
Perkasa’s war against the MIC is based on the MIC’s Vell Paari
statement that Indian Muslim preacher Zakir Naik - who apparently is an
honorary member of Perkasa - should be investigated for allegedly being
an Islamic State (IS) recruiter here in Malaysia. Apparently, such a
claim makes someone a threat Islam.
While I have no idea what Zakir Naik is doing here, the reality is
that Malaysia has always been a transit point for Islamic terrorism. The
New Mandala ran a piece in 2013 – ‘Extremism in the name of Islam and Malaysian Muslims’
- which I think is still relevant today. Indeed, I think the climate
has become more tense with recent geopolitical conflicts and regional
ratcheting of Islamic fervour by hegemons fearful of loss of power.
While I thought the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project
was a flawed endeavour, I do think that the thrust of the piece - an
examination of how the state creates an environment either willing or
unwittingly for these types of extremists to thrive - is an important