One of the favorite topics of discussions/debates among UMNO people now, is the difference between OLD and NEW UMNO. The real UMNO people- those ordinary members, the cawangan members, - over 3 million of them debate on the essence of UMNO, the soul of UMNO, how to revive the UMNO spirit and all that.
A larger number among them are just there hoping their fears, expectations are addressed. They are just there as waiting patients expecting remedies and cure. They haven’t got the treatment yet, but the THOUGHT that remedies or cures are coming, is sufficiently comforting. That's UMNO for them.
Occasionally, the topic of their interest gets acknowledged with the award of their 5 minutes of fame. The topics they debate get treated by boring and drone of intellectual discussions by questionable intellectual windbags on TV. The topic which interests them gets glossed over by time-serving professors who nobody is interested to listen to.
I used the term time-serving to suggest that the professors get their professorship by serving their tenure not through publications of any serious intellectual breakthroughs, but by just surviving the passage of time.
That's the preoccupation of the other and real half of UMNO. That’s the life of the UMNO lumpen-proletariat.
The other half of UMNO is made up of the leadership of UMNO at all levels. There’s the top consisting of the leaders who control the levers of power, aided and abetted by a whole phalanx of sycophants comprising of an invisible network of like-minded ketua bahagians, and other leaders at division levels.
This other half, insignificant in number, but extraordinary in the powers they have, looking good and pure in their APCO- like cultivated public image, has a different preoccupation.
Their preoccupation is in making hay while the sun shines.
Not for them, the discussion of nebulous ideals such as the soul, essence and spirit of UMNO. They do talk about the ALIF-BA-TA or ABC of UMNO’s weltanschauung, but only in monetized terms. Only if discussions on UMNO’s Islam, Race and Nation state, generate profits, will they be matched by more than their cursory interest and involvement.
Otherwise, discussions of UMNO’s essence, spirit, soul or weltanschauung, are for the UMNO lumpen-proletriat.
The UMNO bourgeoisie talks about bleeding the country. It has come to a sad and sorry state.
The difference between OLD and NEW UMNO is reduced to the manner on how these halves of, the OLD and the NEW pillaged the country.
The half in the OLD UMNO has more finesse and a higher sense of guilt- to use a simpler notion. They took but never in Croesus-like proportions.
A friend once asked a late leading leader of UMNO. Are you corrupt? The man thought for a moment and answered. Yes, I took. The friend asked again, how? The UMNO leader answered- you see that kitchen in this house, when it was about to be completed, I was short of 400 bricks. I accepted a free gift of 500 bricks.
The vanguard of NEW UMNO however is almost consumed by an unconscionable persona. I can see no better analogy between the OLD and NEW UMNO than the comedic film Ali Baba Bujang Lapuk by the legendary P Ramlee. You will remember in another film- Ramlee asked S Shamsudin what ALIF MIM-NUN-WAU means?- Shamsudin shot back the answer- SARKAS!
I think this is an apt description of the present day UMNO- it's a circus with clowns, jesters, toothless tigers and lions and lion tamers and animal handlers.
See the filim Ali Baba Bujang Lapuk again. Ali Baba the younger brother looted the robbers Fort Knox and treasury. But he took one small box an dcarted the loot in a trishaw( old means) and later used the ‘sukat’ or measure owned by the older brother Kassim Baba. In that sense, Ali Baba’s thievery was measured and conscionable.
But Kassim Baba reflects the current UMNO leadership. He drives a lorry and looted the treasury clean. You watch the You Tubes HERE.