The week that started Monday Aug 16, 2006 will probably go down in history as the turning point that marked the final eclipse of Dr Mahathir Mohamad as a political power in this country.

Malaysians must have been taken by surprise by the sudden turn of events that saw the former autocrat stumble and Umno's top hierarchy swinging unequivocally to the side of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

How did it happen? Wasn't Mahathir doing just fine upon his return from London when he merrily stepped up his offensive in tandem with new repressive threats against the media spearheaded by his loyalist Zainuddin Maidin (minister of information) while the rest of Umno remained largely quiet? What happened since then that caused the table to turn against Mahathir so suddenly? To understand how this came about, let us trace the events on that fateful week.

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