New Malaysian PM Muhyiddin seen as a man of few words but with a steely will

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his family outside his home in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 29, after royal officials had named him Malaysia's eighth prime minister. Few observers would have predicted that Mr Muhyiddin would seize the premiership from household
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his family outside his home in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 29, after royal officials had named him Malaysia's eighth prime minister. Few observers would have predicted that Mr Muhyiddin would seize the premiership from household names like Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
A March 1995 image of Singapore's then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and his wife, Ms Tan Choo Leng, attending a Hari Raya dinner held at the Johor Baru residence of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin - who was then Menteri Besar of Johor - and his wife, Puan S
A March 1995 image of Singapore's then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and his wife, Ms Tan Choo Leng, attending a Hari Raya dinner held at the Johor Baru residence of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin - who was then Menteri Besar of Johor - and his wife, Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman.LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE PHOTO

Handing out boxes of pizza to journalists camped outside his house in Kuala Lumpur's leafy Damansara Heights suburb last Sunday, the 72-year-old Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was beaming widely but did not say much.

When one of the pressmen tried to make small talk with him in front of the camera, asking, "It's been a week now?", Mr Muhyiddin simply shrugged.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 08, 2020, with the headline 'New PM seen as a man of few words with a steely will'. Subscribe