What Have They Done To The Tunku's Umno?
The almost half a century of uninterrupted rule by Umno (post-1969 National Operations Council was still Umno by another name) has changed the party beyond recognition from the initial 'good guy' it was. Over the years it has become radicalized by attempting and seeking extreme change of the social order, pseudo-Islamised, quasi-criminalised and pervasively corrupted.
After the Tunku was eased out, the first phase of the radicalization of the party started in tandem with the aggressive implementation of the New Economic Policy, a virulently pro-Malay "heads I win, tails you lose" programme. While the intentions of the policy were by and large good, especially for the Malays, the abomination it has turned into was probably unforeseen and regrettable. Many of the targets were reasonably met for the better part of a decade when greed and selfishness got involved and became intertwined and synonymous with Malay economic ambition. The Mahathir era merely fast-forwarded the evolution of corruption, deceit and the "every man for himself" new creed of Umno.
The development plans so painstakingly put in place by the Tun Razak administration slowly started to unravel as the focus of progress switched from the Malays in general to the favoured ones and later the elites, the Umnoputras. It also proved correct a sociological theory that you cannot super-speed cultural and economic evolution without paying a price. (Those who should be riding bicycles should progress to riding motorcycles before moving on to automobiles especially fast cars, lest they can't control it and crash with disastrous results, is probably a fairly accurate corollary.) The NEP threw up a lot of nouveaux riches who instead of ploughing back their wealth and experience for the 'common good' of their own kind, plotted a new course for themselves and their ilk thus leading to the dichotomy of Malay society today.
The arrival of Dr Mahathir to the Prime Minister's office marked a turning point in the country's fortunes, social dynamics and the metamorphosis of Umno into a monstrosity. Despite the high sounding 'Bersih, Cekap dan Amanah' and 'Kepimpinan Melalui Teladan' slogans, the country descended a few notches into the well of corruption and improbity giving short shrift to all that was legally, ethically, and morally correct. The irony is that all this was done in the name of 'Bangsa, Agama dan Negara!' The country rapidly industrialised and became wealthier; but at what cost?
The Judiciary was pounded into submission and has yet to recover from the hammering it got in the mid-eighties. With the legal avenue blocked, Umno went full steam ahead in enriching itself and a few of its members, the chosen ones, the Umnoputras. That process of unjust enrichment continues unimpeded to this day.
The act of that greedy idiot in building a palace in Klang and the thousands of similar accusations of impropriety and corruption against Umno elites and underlings is merely the external manifestation of a very serious debilitating illness deep inside the very being of Umno. A disease that has gone unchecked and untreated for decades. In the process the pathological and deleterious effects of the malady has transformed the entity called Umno from a benign and caring one of the fifties, to an avaricious but seriously ill parasite, still feeding off the life-blood of this nation.
What, oh what have they done to the Umno which the Tunku so loved?