Dr Mahathir "apologised" twice earlier today during the day-long discourse on "Media's Role in National Development" at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya.
His first "apology" came during the Q and A session after delivering his keynote address. He was asked about the famous incident when he referred to a top editor appointed by the Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, as "a hindu god and muslim priest".
"Oh, I must apologise. I heard his daughter in Australia cried [here]... when I called him a hindu god and muslim priest."At a press conference later, the former PM was asked by a media blogger if he realised that he was wrong in saying, during a speech in Kulai recently, that Abdullah had a RM60 million mansion in Perth, Australia. Raja Petra Kamarudin, who runs the Malaysia Today, a major supporter of Dr M and a huge critic of the PM, told the press conference that Khairy Jamaluddin, Abdullah's son-in-law, said the mansion belonged to Kamaluddin, who is Abdullah's son. RPK added that Malaysia Today's "independent investigation" showed that both Dr M and Khairy were wrong as the house belonged to a lady partner of tycoon Patrick "Badawi" Lim, who is known to be very close to the PM's family and a beneficiary of some lucrative projects since Abdullah became PM.
Responding to RPK's "carrot", Dr M said:
"Oh, I am sorry I stated something wrong. I stood to be corrected. It is not the PM's house. It is not his son's. It is someone else's".The apology earned Dr M and the Perdana discourse extended coverage during prime-time news on a government television channel. Just when we all thought that he has been blacked out and blackballed!
Experienced journalists will tell rookies that they will need to learn when not to take a response or a comment at face value. This is a classic case of a journalist not being able to tell when his ex-PM was being cynical.
Or was it the work of some Spin Doctors?
Perhaps the standard of editing (not journalism) in this country has really dropped so low since the "hindu god and muslim priest" taken over?