Former Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin Arrested On Corruption Charges
Muhyiddin Yassin, who served as Malaysia’s eighth prime minister (PM) between 2020 and 2021, was arrested on corruption charges on Thursday (9 Mar).
The former premier was later released on bail and denied the accusations, calling the charges a “malicious political act” against him, AP News reported.
On Friday (10 Mar), he pleaded not guilty to six counts of money laundering and abuse of power,
Muhyiddin arrested, pleads not guilty to charges
On Friday (10 Mar), former Malaysian PM Muhyiddin was officially charged with six counts of power abuse and corruption.
According to New Straits Times (NST), the charges include:
- Two counts of receiving RM195 million (S$58.4 million) in proceeds from unlawful activities
- Four counts of using his position to seek bribes amounting to RM232.5 million (S$69.7 million)
The first two charges come under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
If convicted, the offender may face a jail term of up to 15 years as well as a minimum fine of RM5 million (S$1.5 million).
Meanwhile, the latter four charges carry a penalty of no more than 20 years’ jail and a fine of at least RM10,000 (S$3,000).
Mr Muhyiddin pleaded not guilty and claimed trial on all six counts.
The court ordered for a bail of RM2 million (S$6 million). The 76-year-old’s passport also had to be surrendered to the court.
The next court mention has been scheduled for 26 May.
Calls charges a political attack against him
Citing a statement by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), NST reported that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman and Bersatu president was detained after being summoned to its MACC headquarters to record statements over the controversial Jana Wibawa programme.
The programme, Channel NewsAsia (CNA) explained, was introduced as a stimulus package to aid Bumiputera contractors during the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, allegations emerged that the contractors selected for the programme had deposited RM300 million (S$90 million) into Bersatu’s account.
After being elected as Malaysia’s 10th PM in November last year, Anwar Ibrahim ordered a review of government projects that Muhyiddin approved.
This included Covid-19 relief programmes as they allegedly had not followed the proper procedures.
Speaking to reporters after his arrest, Muhyiddin said the purpose of the charges was simply to “embarrass [him] by dragging [him] to court”.
He also claimed that he had never met or received any money from the Jana Wibawa contractors, AP News reported.
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