Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has openly admitted that Abdullah Badawi was not his first choice to take over the leadership when he stepped down in 2003 after helming Malaysia for 22 years.
Mahathir conceded that he could have made the wrong decision and indirectly said that he regretted picking Abdullah (over Najib Tun Razak - S Imran).
"I have made many blunders in my career. I have helped many people up only for them to stab me in the back. I am in the habit of choosing the wrong people," Mahathir told a press conference at the Perdana Leadership Foundation office in Putrajaya today (Wed. June 7.
"I chose him and I expect a degree of gratefulness," he said.
When asked whether Abdullah had stabbed him in the back, Mahathir said: "Minor bruises" and added that one could not tell exactly what a person would do after he is out of your control.
"So I thought I made a good choice."
Mahathir's statement would most probably be missing from the pages of local newspapers and broadcasting stations. But, it is a clear signal that he is not happy with Abdullah's performances as prime minister.
Most political observers believed that Abdullah would be a one-term prime minister and the power struggle in Umno is clearly written on the wall with Najib Tun Razak preparing a strong team to take over the reins of the government and Umno.
I strongly believed that in the coming national elections four Peninsular Malaysia states would fall to a united opposition coalition headed by the Peoples' Action Party (PAP) namely Negri Sembilan, Selangor, Perak and Penang. The dissatisfied non-Malay voters (Chinese and Indians) previously loyal to the Barisan Nasional coalition would shift their support to the opposition.