Malaysia's former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin arrested on corruption charges

He will be formally charged on Friday

Former Malaysian prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, centre, arrives at the anti-corruption agency's headquarters on Thursday. AFP
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Malaysia's former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin has been arrested and will be brought to court to face corruption charges.

Mr Muhyiddin, who served as prime minister from March 2020 to August 2021, will be the country's second leader to be indicted after leaving office.

He faces several charges of alleged abuse of power and money laundering, the national anti-corruption agency said, and will be formally charged on Friday.

Mr Muhyiddin has been accused of corruption since his defeat in the November election to Anwar Ibrahim. Mr Ibrahim denies any political agenda behind the investigation into government-funded projects.

Mr Muhyiddin, 75, has denied the allegations and said he is the target of a political vendetta.

The former prime minister was arrested on Thursday after arriving at the agency for the latest of several rounds of questioning. He got out of his car and prayed with his supporters before entering the building.

Supporters gathered outside the anti-graft headquarters on Thursday morning amid rumours he would be arrested.

He was interviewed by authorities in early March during an investigation into an economic stimulus package he approved for ethnic Malay contractors during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The opposition head took power at the start of the pandemic and resigned 17 months later, marking the shortest tenure in Malaysia's history.

He declared a state of emergency and suspended parliament shortly after entering office.

Speaking later to The National, he said the measures were “very important” to manage the pandemic.

“People said these emergency laws were like being at war, but I told them this was worse than a war.”

Updated: March 09, 2023, 12:40 PM