Dr Mahathir has failed in his bid to represent the UMNO Kubang Pasu Division as a delegate to the coming UMNO general assembly. He was 44 votes short and came in 9th, missing the seven positions. His son Muklhriz was fifth and will represent Kubang Pasu.
The forces that had been brought to bear against him was staggering, with a number of ministers attending to the matter, including one who came supposedly to see his 'ducks and fishes'.
What was it that UMNO leaders was so keen, nay, anxious to prevent him from saying at the general assembly. The efforts have been disproportionate if their accusation that Mahathir couldn't take retirement was true. The campaign was even more acrimonious, and the alleged 'dirty tricks' were more relentless, than for a general election.
Some accusations that Mahathir wanted to wrest authority back from AAB, because he was worried that the law is after him for corruption, or he would be thrown to the wolves including the Anwar Ibrahim's libel action, was more of badmouthing to silent him than fact, for those accusations failed to recognise Mahathir holds more secrets that anyone, including those of AAB and Anwar. No one really wants to mess around with him on issues of corruption.
Looking around I still come back to the issue of the 'scenic' bridge and Mahathir's accusation that someone had sold, or attempted to sell our country's assets to Sinagpore. Most of us know who that person could be. Knowing Dr Mahathir's disdain for Singapore, I reckon this must be what had really riled him beyong tolerance.
This is not the first time Dr Mahathir had lost in Kedah. In May 1969 he lost the Kota Setar Selatan parliamentary seat to a PAS candidate Haji Yusof Rawa, principally because of Chinese votes. That was the year the Opposition (a loose coalition of Gerakan, DAP, PPP, PAS) gave Tunku's Perikatan (Alliance) Party a bloody hiding.
I reckon we won't see the last of Dr Mahathir. But the traditional model of Malay loyalty has been torn to shreds. If AAB doesn't learn from this trying episode, of how Dr Mahathir's toadies or favourites could kiss the former PM's hands 'yesterday' and stab him 'today', then it would be to his greater loss, because it could be him 'tomorrow'.
As the Grand Ole Man has said himself: "Melayu muda lupa."