Most people especially the Malays would probably still remember Mahathir's famous or infamous lamentation of 'Melayu cepat lupa' (Malays have short memory), depending on how one wish to interpret, it can be taken as an advice or an insult.
Judging by the going on in UMNO politics with the soon to exit Abdullah Badawi, his controversial remark may not be off the mark.They seem to have a knack for 'cepat lupa' and Mahathir knows best because he had been in that position after he stepped down from power.These are facts of life that politicians have to accept especially those that have held long unbridled power.As the popular Anne Lennox's song 'Sweet Dreams' reflects in some of the wordings of the lyrics of the song.
"Everybody's looking for something
Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused"
For some going down can be very unpleasant and for those forced to go down is even worse, it is excruciatingly painful and shameful.
It looks like the Malays in UMNO have already started to abandon the Prime Minister even before he handed over the helm to Najib, blue-eyed boy of the former prime minister and one he said he favoured to be PM instead of Abdullah but he chose Abdullah as his successor because of age and seniority. Mahathir places loyalty above everthing else including merits.
The former premier also wrote in his blog that not only Abdullah had to be gotten rid of but all of his men too.
Sometimes, no matter how angry we are, things are better left unsaid. Abdullah might have not been the ideal prime minister but like all of us humans he has feeling too.His bitterness against Abdullah has clearly muddled his thinking and make him sound terribly unreasonable.
Abdullah's biggest mistake and one that brought his downfall is his complete lack of nastiness.His character is such that he is constrained by his conscience.Many leaders have gone down either for lack of conscience or over-conscientious.Those overtly nice can be construed as sign of weakness.
The former premier might have forgotten that when Abdullah took over from him he also took over all his men and none of them had been removed.All those with Abdullah were his men before and they would have to toe the line of the leadership similar to when he was the prime minister.Are these the men he wanted to be removed?
This 'cepat lupa' syndrome can be seen in the nominations for the Youth Chief.This unexpected reversal of fortune is a clear sign that in UMNO the power to give wealth is the only consideration.The moment you lose this power you are as good as dead.The prodigal son-in-law would have fared much better if Abdullah had not announced or delayed his time of departure.
As we all know in politics there are no permanent enemies and friends.Who knows,one day, Mahathir may have to use Kahiry Jamaluddin to remove Najib if he is not happy with him.
One thing I agree with Mahathir, Najib must not make the same mistake, he must dismantle the 4th Floor.Tutup kedai (close shop).
The 4th Floor had been another one of Abdullah's biggest mistake.