‘Malay first’: Malaysia’s Muhyiddin allies with nationalists to become PM (VIDEO)

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin celebrates after being appointed as Malaysia’s 8th Prime Minister in front of his house in Bukit Damansara February 29, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin celebrates after being appointed as Malaysia’s 8th Prime Minister in front of his house in Bukit Damansara February 29, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 29 — Former Malaysian interior minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will be sworn in as the country’s next prime minister tomorrow, after he secured support from a Malay nationalist party that sacked him in 2015.

Here are some facts about Muhyiddin, 72, who is from the majority Malay Muslim community and once courted controversy in the multi-racial country by saying that he was Malay first.

  • Muhyiddin is from the southern state of Johor, neighbouring Singapore, where he was chief minister for almost nine years.
  • His father was an influential religious teacher in his hometown. Graduated from the University of Malaya in 1970 in Economics and Malay Studies.
  • He is the president of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), which he started in 2016 and is now chaired by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
  • Formerly he was with the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), the long-ruling establishment party that was defeated in the last general election. He joined it in 1971. Muhyiddin will be Malaysia’s 8th prime minister with support from Umno.
  • He was deputy prime minister between April 2009 and July 2015 before being sacked and thrown out of Umno for questioning former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s handling of a multi-billion-dollar scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
  • In 2010, he said: “I am a Malay first, I want to say that. But being Malay does not mean you are not a Malaysian”.
  • In 2018, Muhyiddin was diagnosed with early-stage pancreatic cancer. Dr Mahathir had taken charge of the home affairs ministry as he sought treatment.
  • He tends to keep a low profile and a person who knows him well says he is very close to his family. — Reuters

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