Accusing former Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin of corruption

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Former Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will face corruption charges on Friday, the head of Malaysia’s anti-graft agency told Reuters on Friday.

The head of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Azam Baqi, did not elaborate, but said the agency would issue a statement later on Thursday.

Muhyiddin, who was prime minister for 17 months between 2020 and 2021, arrived at the offices of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on Thursday morning for questioning.

Muhyiddin and his party have faced corruption investigations since losing to Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in a closely contested election in November.

Anwar last year ordered a review of multibillion-dollar government projects approved by Muhyiddin, including COVID-19 relief programmes, alleging they did not follow proper procedures.

Muhyiddin had previously denied the accusations, describing them as political revenge.

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State media Bernama reported that Anwar said Thursday that he had not interfered in the corruption investigations involving Muhyiddin.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has charged two leaders belonging to Muhyiddin’s party with bribery over an economic recovery project launched by his government.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission questioned Muhyiddin last month over the same scheme and also froze bank accounts belonging to Muhyiddin’s party.

The charges against Muhyiddin come ahead of regional elections scheduled to be held in six states by the middle of the year, when the coalition of the former prime minister is expected to pose a strong challenge to Anwar’s coalition.

(Reporting by Mei Mei Chu and Rosanna Latif) Writing by A. Ananthalakshmi, Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor, Ed Davies

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