A year after Tun Dr. Mahathir returned from Europe

Today is exactly a year after former Prime Minister and UMNO President Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad returned from a long trip summer holidays in Europe. It was the first time Malaysians get a chance to meet him after his stinging attack against ‘The Level Four Boys’ and issues pertaining the cancellation of the Scenic Bridge project in Johor Bahru and Proton at an event organized by various NGO and streamed via broadband by Malaysia Today.net, at Kelab Century Paradise, Taman Melawati, near Kuala Lumpur on 24 June 2006.

His open criticism against Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s leadership, management and decisions at Kelab Century Paradise to a crowd of 1,000 was a landmark speech. It attracted so much attacks in return from the Government, including Cabinet Ministers such as Dato’ Seri Nazri Aziz and Dato’ Khaled Nordin.

He and wife, Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Mohd. Ali arrived from Stansted Airport, North London via a chartered jet at Petronas Private Terminal, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz International Airport, Subang at 9.30 am and was met by close personal friends.

Outside the gates of the terminal, over 1000 well wishers and supporters gathered, some with banners and special printed t-shirts were issued. A Malay political portal, MyKMU.net had organized this welcome back session to show that the rakyat still in very much support of Tun Dr. Mahathir and the issues that he has been vehemently highlighted. Some noted political bloggers like Dato’ Ron, Dato’ Kadir Jasin, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Rocky and Sang Kelembai were also present.

I was one of the persons organized the welcome back session. Just before Tun Dr. Mahathir stepped out of gates of terminal, someone asked whether my Enterprise could be used as a platform for Tun Dr. Mahathir to speak to the well wishers and maybe talked to the waiting press, since it has a sunroof. I summarily agreed and repositioned the Mitsubishi Pajero V6 Pajero, named “Enterprise”.

When Tun Dr. Mahathir stepped out at 10.10am, he walked to a very anxious crowd who eagerly wanted to see him up close and walked down the road about 100 meters to the awaiting Enterpise which was repositioned almost to middle of the road. He climbed into the back seat and I asked him to stand up through the sunroof and he did. The crowd cheered as he waved, with a sunshine smile. I later asked him to stand on the backseat so that he was perched higher and he did and started waving more to the eager crowd.

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For the next fifteen minutes, he addressed the crowd and talked to the press, including foreign bureaus who send their reporters. He was beaming and gleaming with glee, as he never thought that there would be supporters to welcome him home.

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Blogger Gerbang Ruhanie, Dato’ Ruhanie Ahmad passed to Tun Dr. Mahathir his latest book, “Mahathir Menyinga” at the end of his speech on the Enterprise. It was about the cancellation of Scenic Bridge.

The last time I smsed Dato’ Mukhriz Mahathir was 12 hours earlier, who sent Tun Dr. Mahathir of in London. He said his father did not expect anyone to be at the airport to welcome him home, since he considered himself as ‘orang pencen‘. However, Dato’ Mukhriz challenged me “Now, would you prove him wrong?”.

I did. We all did. And Tun Dr. Mahathir was definitely pleased people like me proved him wrong.

*Some of the photos were taken from Minaq Jinggo Photopages

Published in: on July 22, 2007 at 08:11  Comments (4)