I was born on the prairies, where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures. [GERONIMO]
Monday, June 27, 2011
Parallels between Perkasa and the Nazi Party
The Nazi party, an organisation of fewer than 60 people in 1919, grew to 130,000 members by 1929 and seized control of Germany by 1932.
Perkasa was founded only in 2008 but is now believed to have over 50,000 members. Just like the Nazis, Perkasa is an ultra-right wing organisation with a militant bent. Just like the Nazi Party, Perkasa did not start as a political organisation but as an NGO with a social cause.
Just like the Nazi Party, Perkasa’s founders were avid nationalists who were themselves doing quite well. Just like the Nazis, Perkasa appeals to the economically disenfranchised and the working class.
The Nazis enjoyed much support from the rural Protestant regions of Germany. Their support among Catholic Germans was much weaker.
Similarly, Perkasa’s supporters are not orthodox Islamists (who lean towards PAS) but relatively “modern” Muslims.
Geographically, the Nazis support base originated from the conservative Bavarian region. Similarly, Perkasa’s support base originates from the conservative northern states.
Just like the Nazis, Perkasa places the blame for society’s problems on the weakness/corruption of the centrist establishment as well as subversion by other races/religions.
Right from the beginning, the Nazi Party started a paramilitary group called the SturmAbteilung (SA) – the notorious “brownshirts”. Perkasa has also started a paramilitary group called Briged Setia Negara or National Loyalty Brigade.
This paramilitary group is being given free weapons and basic military training under the auspices of RELA (which is a national militia that was established in the 1960s).
Just like in Germany in the 1920s where politics was dominated by the SPD and KPD, Malaysian politics is currently dominated by two big factions – one that is Umno-led and the other, PKR-led.
The Nazis were more hostile towards the KPD than SPD. Similarly, Perkasa is more hostile towards PKR than Umno. Just like the Nazis, Perkasa accuses the centrist establishment of being out-of-touch.
Just like in Germany during the early Weimar years, Malaysia is facing a failing economic model in which employment is becoming harder to find, income gap between haves and have-nots is widening rapidly and inflation is beginning to eat away at the very foundations of the economic structure.
Just like in Germany, the weakening centrist establishment lacks the will to clamp down hard on the ultra-right wing. Note the increasing frequency of Perkasa’s seditious pronouncements – with no consequent action by the authorities.
In Germany, this resulted in a vicious cycle of increasing appeasement, followed by even more belligerence from the far right. Influence shifted relentless away from centre to the far right.
Ultimately, the centrists becoming too weak and tottered on the verge of failure.
All it then took was for the start of the economic depression in 1930 to push the centrist establishment over the edge and allow the Nazis to seize control. The rest is history.