Mahathir Mohamad, who ran Malaysia for over two decades, and who was once regarded as something like a paragon of Moderate Islamic rule (if you ignored the anti—Semitic stuff), became more and more intemperate when out of office. He has now been officially rejected by his own (race and religion—based) political party. From the New York Times:
Mahathir Mohamad, who towered over Malaysia for 22 years as prime minister, failed this weekend to win a seat as a delegate to his party's congress, placing ninth out of 15 candidates in his small constituency.
Mr. Mahathir, 81, has frequently attacked Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, who had been his choice as successor, deriding Mr. Abdullah for being weak and accusing the prime minister of reversing his policies. But Mr. Mahathir has become increasingly isolated, and his failure to win one of 2,292 seats in the congress is only the latest of his humiliations.
Pushed off the front pages of the newspapers he once controlled and abandoned by the politicians he once commanded, he had apparently seen the November congress of his party, Umno, as a chance for a political showdown. But it appeared that party leaders had consolidated behind Mr. Abdullah.
It has sometimes seemed that Mr. Mahathir has been the last to know that he is no longer wearing the emperor's clothes. 'I thought they supported me because of what I was doing for the country,' he complained of his former aides in July. 'Now I know they supported me because I was prime minister.'
Ed Lasky 9 11 06