Guess who’s not coming to dinner

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid, The Malaysian Insider

Will Dr M’s animosity towards Abdullah ever end? Judging from tonight’s event, the answer is an emphatic "No".

Not even a lavish nine-course dinner with a chocolate mousse cake for dessert could tempt Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to soften his apparently limitless antipathy towards the man he handpicked to be his successor.

Dr Mahathir, who is the country’s fourth prime minister, was the most notable absentee at tonight’s dinner, held at the luxurious Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre to pay tribute to the country’s former and fifth prime minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

All the country’s top leaders were present at the dinner. Even the King and Queen.

Although it was Dr Mahathir himself who selected Abdullah to be his successor, ties between them soured following the latter’s decision to cancel  several of Mahathir’s pet projects during his tenure as PM.

In his speech, Abdullah thanked everyone. He also pledged his full support to his own successor and current prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Najib, in turn, thanked Abdullah, saying that the latter had left many legacies behind such as the economic corridors and as a retirement gift, he made Abdullah the advisor.

A day earlier Abdullah was also made advisor to Malaysia Airlines and Dr Mahathir was kept on as advisor to national oil company Petronas.

Abdullah's appointment to the national carrier appeared to be Najib's way of avoiding an awkward situation because it has become tradition for the most recently retired prime minister to be made advisor to Petronas.

Earlier today, Dr Mahathir showed he had no intention of toning down in his persistent gibes at Abdullah when he mocked his appointment as MAS advisor, quipping that "I suppose he must be put somewhere."

Somewhere, anywhere, it seems, except in Dr Mahathir's good books.