Having being caught out calling his boss "arrogant", Penang Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Mansor Othman has finally sprung into damage control mode since his comments about Lim Guan Eng risk undermining Penang Pakatan Rakyat with an election just around the corner.
This is the correct, if not an overdue response. A rift between the number one and number two politicians in the state can't be allowed to fester.
But what, exactly, has he done to make amends?
Has he denied calling Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng "cocky and arrogant" at a PKR meeting earlier this year?
No. The release of an audio clip of his remarks to TV3 (aired nationally on Monday) has now slammed the door on that option.
Has he admitted making the remarks but issued an unequivocal apology in a bid to calm the situation?
No. He hasn't backed down from what he said in the slightest.
Penang PKR Chairman Mansor has merely set out to find and shoot the messenger. He said an investigation is now underway as to who released the clip and "we will take stern action against the person now that we have completed the investigations."
So having passed up every opportunity to make thinks right by retracting his comments, or apologising, or both, Mansor is doing no more than looking for a scapegoat.
This is Pakatan Rakyat at its venal and divided worst. Unwilling to give ground or even try to make peace with those they dislike within the coalition, they instead resort to distraction tactics like this.
Mansor will in all probability find who is responsible and sack him...because he can. But no one can do that to Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, who is too big and important for party discipline. This is despite reportedly launching an almost identical attack on the Penang Leader as that of Mansor.
The revelations that he called Guan Eng "kurang ajar" (rude or insolent) will go unpunished as will the fact that he urged Independent Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng to snipe at the DAP Secretary General to "teach him a lesson".
On that front it is one rule for Anwar and harsher justice for whoever leaked the Mansor recording.
In any democracy leaks are rarely the cause of a party's decline (or a coalition's) but invariably a symptom of it. Whoever did this no doubt has his good reasons.
Perhaps he despises the way Guan Eng treats Penang PKR with contempt and feels it is time to get even? Perhaps he knows GE13 is already lost so now is a good time to settle some scores?
Maybe he just can't be bothered keeping up the charade of unity anymore?
It could be any of these reasons or even a combination. Either way, Penang Pakatan Rakyat is coming apart at the seams before the date for GE13 has even been set.