SUBANG, May 27 — Some had been waiting since 4pm while others started gathering at the layby leading to the private airstrip where Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s plane would touch down from about 5pm. The former prime minister was due back from Japan.
The 300 odd supporters – some from as far as Jerlun, Kedah – and members of the media had gathered by the side of the road to greet Tun Dr Mahathir. Banners and placards welcoming him home were in evidence and every other person was seen wearing a blue badge which read "Perjuangan mu belum selesai." This line echoed the title of a poem Dr Mahathir wrote way back in May, 1996 – "Perjuangan Yang Belum Selesai."
Meanwhile, moisture-laden rain clouds were overhead. Finally, a metallic silver SUV with Dr Mahathir on board headed down the road. It was part of a convoy of cars leaving the area. The time was 6pm and a few drops of rain were beginning to fall.
He popped up through the sun roof and the crowd cheered: “Hidup Tun! Hidup Tun!” Although he looked cheerful, he sounded a tad tired as he addressed the crowd with a megaphone.
Even though he only spoke for a few minutes, he did not miss an opportunity to take yet another dig at Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. In an obvious reference to the loss of Pedra Branca, Dr Mahathir said, "Dengan Singapura pun takut."
He continued saying that Pak Lah was someone who "tidak kenang budi". This was another reference to Tun’s claim that Abdullah owes Dr Mahathir for bringing him back from the political wilderness, that he is where he is now because of Dr M’s kindness.
Finally he said he did not think he was treated any differently now that he had left Umno. Then he was off. The rain started coming down in earnest and the crowd disbanded. The three busloads from Jerlun, the ones from Tanah Merah, and the others from neighbouring Puchong drove away.
Dr Mahathir is back and we are sure to be hearing from him in the next few days.