KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was charged on Friday with bribery and money laundering in connection with the alleged misuse of a Covid economic recovery fund.
Muhyiddin served as Malaysia’s prime minister for 17 months between 2020 and 2021, at the height of the country’s fight against the coronavirus, and now leads an opposition coalition opposing Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s government.
He is the second former prime minister to face corruption charges, following ex-leader Najib Razak, who is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence for his role in a financial scandal involving state investment fund 1MDB.
Muhyiddin, 75, was charged with four counts of bribery totaling $51.4 million for his political party, Bersatu.
Bribes were allegedly paid by companies that were given priority for projects funded by the Covid fund.
On conviction, each charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
According to the charge sheets, Muhyiddin was also charged with two counts of money laundering involving 195 million ringgits deposited into Bersatu’s account. Each of these charges carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.