If Mahathir had apologise earlier, I would have respected him. But he had then hung on and on and on minus his apology, even when he met Anwar Ibrahim and/or family, showing his non-repentance.
Yes, he was previously so obdurately unapologetic, refusing even once to concede a mistake and apologise for that.
Had he ever apologised to the Judiciary, until now and even then, in a very general way? At least AAB was a real gentleman who did, on advisement from Zaid Ibrahim.
Dr Kua Kia Soong has not too long ago demanded Mahathir apologises for Ops Lalang which was traumatic for many innocent Malaysians, but the Old Man ignored Dr Kua, instead blaming the IGP at that time.
Why has he now apologised other than he must be so bloody desperate he has started to eat humble pie. But there is no sincerity in his apology, other than an act of desperation to seek political support for his racist party Pribumi in GE14.
In a way it's sad to see this proud old man swallow his foolish pride and do the things he hated once (and probably still does), namely, allying himself to the people he hates or dislikes most (Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang, the Chinese, Bersih, etc) and now, apologising.
Mahathir is at his wit's end, meaning he is so distressed, worried or confused that he doesn't know what to do next, in his campaign against Najib and for his son Mukhriz.