At some point post retirement Tun Mahathir arrived at the proverbial fork in the road and made a decision that he no doubt now regrets.
Whatever the impetus, when Mahathir arrived at that sign post in life where on the left road it read; ‘Meddle in the affairs of State’ and on the right road it read ‘Enjoy retirement’; he elected to do the former and meddle.
And meddle he did.
One of his first acts was to engineer the removal of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi; he believed that in getting rid of him he could knock off two (2) birds with one stone.
As many know, Mahathir also wanted to get rid of or curtail the rise of who he perceived as his son Mukhriz’ main political threat; no other than Badawai’s son in law Khairy Jamaluddin.
The success of having Badawi ousted in some ways had bolstered Mahathir’s feeling of invincibility even during retirement. After all he had/has a vision for his son and will not allow that dream no matter how farfetched to not come to fruition.
After the removal of Badawi, Mahathir wanted to get Prime Minister Datuk Sri Najib Razak to bow to his every whim. However, when Mahathir realized that he could not get Najib Razak to follow his wishes, he then started working feverishly to remove Najib like Badawi from office.
Mahathir at some point got carried away into believing that he was not just the former President of UMNO, but that he was UMNO and all of its members orbited around him.
That is why when he quit the party (for the second time) he thought that the party would collapse due to his no longer being a member.
As Mahathir continued down the path he had chosen, he soon saw that there were very few joining him in his delusion. In fact the only names of note that eventually came out and joined him were his son former Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir and former deputy Prime Minister Tan Seri Muhyiddin Yassin who at the time had become UMNO casts offs.
The collateral damage Mahathir’s decision brought had done to political careers of the above mentioned casts is undeniable. In his bid to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak Mahathir had in effect removed any chance to have his son to be me mentioned in the conversation to someday become the Prime Minister of Malaysia; at least with UMNO. In Pribumi he can join his father along in his dream and become anything he wants. After all dreams, even delusional ones are free.
Collateral damage number two thanks to Mahathir is Muhyiddin Yassin. Had Muhyiddin not been seduced by the desire of immediate gratification (I am speaking about becoming PM) he would have been at the very least the favorite to vie for the position of Prime Minister after Najib left office.
Looking at how Mahathir had been reduced to a side show spectacle for Bersih 5, one could speculate that his thoughts were; if he could have a life’s do over, he would no doubt opt to go down the ‘Right’ path and not the one in which he embarked. Had he done so, his legacy would have remained intact instead of suffering the damage it has as a result of his walking off a political cliff by not staying on the right path!