It is a tried and tested Umno formula, written and fine-tuned during the reign of Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The principle is simple: when facing a potentially serious threat from within your own party, change the focus by turning the guns on the non-Malays, particularly the Chinese.
And the forum where this is done is usually at the offensive, obscenely ostentatious display of crude Malay domination - the Umno general assembly. This is usually a 'North Korea Lite' display of organised mob chest-thumping (and kris-waving) meant to get the Malay masses all fired up inside and to petrify the non-Malays.
In the process, it is also hoped that the internal rivals - today it is Mahathir and whoever is with him - will get isolated and defanged. That is usually the real aim of the whole exercise.
The tone is usually set during the Youth and Wanita assemblies. Faced with a serious threat from Mahathir himself, today's party leadership dusted the Umno manual and launched their usual crude threats against the non-Malays (and Anwar Ibrahim, whose intrinsic qualities continue to petrify the empty vessels in the ruling party).
It was particularly fascinating to watch Khairy Jamaluddin in action. To be talking about Malay rights being trampled upon in Penang after 40 years of unrestricted handouts to the Malays in all areas of activity all over the country was hilarious. The people who probably are hanging their heads in shame are the administrators of Oxford University. How did this guy get into that venerable institution?
Shame, however, will not be on display from the non-Malay Barisan Nasional 'partners' who were savaged last week. It can be stated with assurance that these sycophants will not be reviewing their continued association with Umno any time soon.
Same old, same old. Except that it continues to work. The fact that it does is a damning indictment not of Umno but of Malaysians as a whole. Perhaps nowhere else in the world have a people shown such a lack of backbone as in our country.
Whatever else one might think of Malaysia, the fact is it remains a place where it is still possible to effect change through the ballot box (although that has been, and is being, chipped away at). Yet, through a combination of greed on the part of the Malays and paralysing fear on the part of the non-Malays, this dinosaur of an institution (Umno) continues to hold sway long past its shelf life.
But the lessons of history are immutable and bigger than any collection of men. Things always tend towards a balance, and institutions and individuals that effect unfairness and corruption always collapse and face their day of reckoning. Somehow, there is a sense that that day of reckoning has started its journey towards its meeting with the Malaysian situation.
There is a whole range of reasons for this belief. One is that it is becoming obvious that the days of unlimited riches is but surely coming to an end. Another is that international awareness of what has been going on in this country for decades is beginning to get focused and sharpened. The international media is beginning to shine a light on the naked racism that is the foundation of Malaysian public policy.
Decision-makers will surely follow the media, and signs of this are already evident in the gradual drying up of investment to this country. Meanwhile, the oil is running out, as are all the other natural resources that this country is so richly endowed with.
Ironically, the biggest losers are going to be the Malays. Their reputation as a race is now beginning to get tarred as international journalists, analysts and businesspeople talk about them getting handouts without lifting a finger to earn them.
Politicians such as Musa Hitam, in their speeches, used to thunder with indignation against foreigners classifying the Malays as 'lazy'. One objective of the New Economic Policy was precisely to prove such labels wrong.
Sadly, 40 years on, the Malays are being classified as lazy and incompetent and greedy.