News analysis

In claiming innocence, Muhyiddin set for ‘Bossku’ role as lightning rod for anti-govt dissent

Former premier Muhyiddin Yassin has claimed graft charges against him are selective political persecution. PHOTO: REUTERS
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KUALA LUMPUR – Shortly after Najib Razak’s fall from grace in 2018 as Umno – weighed down by the shadow of the 1MDB scandal – lost power for the first time in Malaysia’s six-decade history, the graft-tainted former premier of aristocratic breeding had a complete makeover.

He was reincarnated as a motorcycle-riding, hoodie-wearing man of the people answering to “Bossku” (“my boss” in Malay and equivalent to “bro” in English). Najib became a driving force in a floundering Umno, helping it turn the corner in just half a year as the long-ruling party made gains in by-elections and eventually found its way back into government.

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