‘I’ll sue those saying I am corrupt’, says former Malaysian PM Muhyiddin Yassin

Former Malaysia PM Muhyiddin Yassin said he did not take a single cent from the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines during his tenure. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR - Former Malaysian prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Sunday vowed legal action against those who insinuate that he is corrupt.

He said he did not take a single cent from the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines during his tenure as prime minister from March 2020 to August 2021.

“I have informed the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) that I am not guilty and they seemed satisfied. I hope these matters are not raised again,” said the chairman of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) opposition bloc, adding that those who want to tarnish his name should prove their claims.

“My lawyer is looking at taking legal action and we will not stop at that alone.

“The Public Accounts Committee has looked into the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines, but there are some who intend to go further and connect my name to bribery,” he told reporters after launching a blood donation drive at a mall in Kuala Lumpur.

The president of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia added that he was clueless as to why he had become the target of such accusations.

“I do not know why all these accusations are being thrown at me now. Perhaps because we will be facing six state elections so I can be painted as the bad guy and they (political rivals) can win,” he said.

Negeri Sembilan, Selangor, Penang, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu are set to hold state elections this year.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin’s PN is the governing coalition for Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, while Negeri Sembilan, Selangor and Penang come under Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s Pakatan Harapan.

“I have been with the government for 50 years – I never had cases of misuse of power or bribery,” Mr Muhyiddin said.

“I follow the rules. I hold on to the law and I have principles.

“I was also once the prime minister. Such insinuations should not have been made.

“I am also the Perikatan Nasional chairman and I know this is a political ploy so that the people are angered and think of me as a thief, a liar and that I had abused my authority,” he added.

“Those who donated to party funds were those who supported our struggle and those who believed what Perikatan stands for.

“It had nothing to do with Jana Wibawa,” said Mr Muhyiddin.

Jana Wibawa was a programme designed to help bumiputera, or Malay-Muslim, contractors during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was conceived by Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Aziz, who was then finance minister in Mr Muhyiddin’s Cabinet. He is now the International Trade and Industry Minister in Datuk Seri Anwar’s Cabinet.

“The proposal was brought to the Cabinet and approved. We implemented it by getting the Bumiputera Wholesale Association to submit the names of contractors approved by the Construction Industry Development Board,“ Mr Muhyiddin said.

He stressed that he was neither involved in setting the eligibility criteria nor awarding contracts under the programme.

“I don’t even know the names of the companies that were chosen for Jana Wibawa,” he said.

MACC had frozen the accounts of Bersatu in the course of investigating allegations that the party had received funds from contractors chosen under the Jana Wibawa programme during Mr Muhyiddin’s tenure.

On Thursday, Mr Muhyiddin was called in by MACC for questioning over the Jana Wibawa case. But he said on Sunday that he was there as a witness, not a suspect.

“The MACC officer informed me that I was not a suspect but was called in merely to give explanations in the process of investigations,” he said.

“It is not fair that the government of the day put the focus on me when it was the finance minister then who made the decisions,” he added.

Mr Muhyiddin said he understood that MACC may soon call up Mr Zafrul to assist with the probe. THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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