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To most people, Umno Baru is a political party. To some of us, Umno Baru is like a cult. It is steeped in ritual and ceremony. The annual general assembly is treated like a pilgrimage. Their gatherings involve people dressed in specific colours, to remind people who their members are, but more importantly, to reinforce the image of “them and us”.

Like shrines, Umno Baru buildings have sprouted-up in all the major towns, often in prime locations. The land in these places is highly sought after and expensive. How did they do it? Wealthy donors? Perhaps. Umno Baru appears to have plenty of donors, including an allegedly fictitious prince from Saudi Arabia.

Umno Baru processions are not restricted by the police, or the city council. The requests of others are subject to delays and restrictions.

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