As leader of the National Front Coalition the Prime Minister was blamed for the considerable loss. There were calls for his resignation. Even members of his own party blamed him for the poor show.
Abdullah Badawi took over from Dr Mahathir in october 2003. When he was sure of the support from fellow UMNO leaders, he started to sing to his own tune while continuing some of Mahathir's legacy.
The reforms that Abdullah started such as openness, fair-play, judicial reforms and a more relax political atmosphere did not please Dr Mahathir.
In fact he started to blast them from day-one.The Malaysian people never openly criticise their top leaders before this time. However, when Dr Mahathir made it his preoccupation, others joined the bandwagon.
Thus, an attempt at reforms resulted in a situation of beyond control. By virtue of their culture the Malays shy away from saying bad things about their leaders. When its done without good taste by none other than the men who once trusted him, members of the opposition felt they have a new target.
The political atmosphere really got fired-up after the Permatang Pauh by-election. It was as if respect for Abdullah Badawi was a joke. Abdullah was a man alone.
Taking cue from the people's reaction and to save UMNO from further division, Abdullah Badawi recently made the announcement that he will not seek reelection as President of UMNO at the next General Assembly which is scheduled for March 2009.
Here is one good man trying his best to make Malaysia a modern nation and having a liveable almosphere. Dr Mahathir would have used his vast executive power to administer the country but not Abdullah.
Abdullah is a gentleman, believing in persuasion and reason. The power at his disposal is not for him to flaunt at will or to make his enemy cower in fear. To him executive power is for progress and not regress.
Abdullah's unwillingness to use his executive power which is his prerogative, was misconstrued by his enemies. These are bloggers, instant politician,misguided lots who have nothing else to do and many UMNO members. Short Messages and blogs were inundated with sickening news and rumours. Even learned members of the law joined in the fray. All of the hide behind the word, FREEDOM.
Alas, when all these happenings are taken into consideration, can we still say Abdullah have failed.
For me, Abdullah is not a failure.