09 March 2023

Former Malaysia prime minister arrested as part of corruption probe

09 March 2023

Former Malaysia prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin has been arrested, the country’s anti-corruption agency said.

He will be taken to court to face corruption charges, it added on Thursday.

Muhyiddin, who led Malaysia from March 2020 until August 2021, will be the country’s second leader to be indicted after leaving office.

Najib Razak was hit with multiple graft charges after losing a general election in 2018 and began a 12-year jail term in August after losing his final appeal in the first of several trials.

Muhyiddin will face several charges on Friday related to alleged abuse and money laundering linked to government projects awarded under his rule, the anti-corruption agency said.

The 75-year-old went to the agency earlier on Thursday to answer questions for the second time in three weeks.

He was first quizzed in February over the award of projects, including Covid economy aid programmes.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who took power after November’s general elections, had ordered a review of government projects approved by past administrations for allegedly not following the rules.

Two senior leaders from Muhyiddin’s Bersatu party were also recently charged with graft.

The anti-corruption agency froze Bersatu’s bank accounts for investigations into alleged illegal proceedings.

Muhyiddin, who leads a strong Islamic-dominated opposition, has denied any wrongdoing and accused Mr Anwar’s government of trying to crush the opposition ahead of state elections.

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