Former Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is facing up to 20 years in prison for allegedly accepting bribes in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, he has been released on bail.
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was charged with bribery and money laundering on Friday. He thus became the second leader of the country to be accused of corruption after leaving office.
(AP, Reuters, AFP)
Muhyiddin held the position of Prime Minister for 17 months between 2020 and 2021. He told the court that he was not guilty and that the charges against him were politically motivated.
What are the charges against Muhyiddin?
Muhyiddin Yassin is accused of accepting bribes to award contracts to companies in exchange for contributions to Malaysia’s pandemic fund. Prosecutors alleged that about $51.4 million in bribes were received for Muhyiddin’s political party Bersatu.
Muhyiddin is also accused of money laundering of 195 million ringgit (Malaysian currency), which he deposited into the party coffers. If convicted, they can face up to 20 years in prison and a hefty fine.
Corruption in Malaysia
Muhyiddin joined the party under the leadership of former Prime Minister Najib Razak and gradually rose to the top. Najib Razak was also sentenced to twelve years in prison for manipulating a state-owned investment company.
He was sacked in 2015 for criticizing the government over the said scandal. Anurabrahim, who took over as prime minister last year after forming the country’s multi-ethnic coalition government, has vowed to eradicate corruption from the Southeast Asian country.