KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin reportedly said today the corruption charges laid against him by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) were trumped up to besmirch his reputation.

The Pagoh MP was quoted claiming his innocence and accused the charges of being politically motivated. He added that he will answer these charges in court.

“The seven charges against me are to insult me and drag me to court. I am innocent and I will answer these charges in court,” he was quoted saying in Free Malaysia Today.

Earlier today, the MACC said it has arrested the former prime minister, despite earlier expectations that he would be released before he was charged with abuse and money laundering tomorrow.

In a statement, MACC said the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president was detained an hour past noon, after he arrived that the commission’s headquarters in Putrajaya to be questioned over alleged corruption involving the Malaysian government’s Jana Wibawa scheme.

Muhyiddin is set to face several charges under Section 23 of the MACC Act and Section 4(1)b of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act.

Section 23 provides for the offence of abuse of power when a person who is a member of a public or government body uses their position or office in making a decision or taking action for the benefit of themselves, their relative or associate.

Separately, Section 4(1)b provides for money laundering offences where any person acquires and uses proceeds of unlawful activity.

Earlier today, the Pagoh MP and Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman was called to answer questions about his coalition’s funds used during the 15th general election last November.

The Jana Wibawa, or “Program Jana Ekonomi Pemerkasaan Kontraktor Bumiputera Berwibawa”, was introduced by the Muhyiddin administration, ostensibly to expedite project execution to spur the nation’s economic recovery post-Covid-19 pandemic.