Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin seen arriving at the Shah Alam Sessions Court on Monday, March 13, 2023 morning. (Photo by Suhaimi Yusuf/The Edge)

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin seen arriving at the Shah Alam Sessions Court on Monday, March 13, 2023 morning. (Photo by Suhaimi Yusuf/The Edge)

SHAH ALAM (March 13): Former prime minister and Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was charged again on Monday (March 13) at the Sessions Court here for money laundering of RM5 million. 

Muhyiddin pleaded not guilty to the charge read out to him before judge Rozilah Salleh. 

Rozilah then agreed to the bail terms set at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court, where Muhyiddin was charged last week. 

The bail set in Kuala Lumpur was RM2 million, which was paid by Muhyiddin for his earlier six charges. This means that the former PM would not have to pay bail for this charge in Shah Alam. 

He was charged with using his power as PN’s component party Parti Pribumi Bersatu's president to receive the RM5 million from illegal activities from Bukhary Equity Sdn Bhd on Jan 7, 2022, which was deposited into the party’s AmBank account at the bank’s Amcorp Mall branch. 

The Pagoh member of Parliament was charged under Section 4(1)b of The Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (Amla).

For the Amla charges, he faces a term of not more than 15 years jail time and a fine of up to five times the amount of the illegal proceeds or RM5 million, whichever is higher.

Muhyiddin's defence lawyer Datuk K Kumaraendran (Photo by Low Yen Yeing)

Muhyiddin was represented by lawyer Datuk Datuk K Kumaraendran.

The judge then set May 26 for case mention. 

The prosecution was also conducted by deputy public prosecutors Ahmad Akram Gharib, Kalai Vani Annadorai, Maziah Mohaide, Mohd Fadhly bin Mohd Zamry and Zander Lim Wai Keong.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib

Muhyiddin was also represented by Chetan Jethwani, Dev Kumaraendran, Mohamad Isa Mohamad Basir, Teh See Khoon, Varsha Chelvi, Amiratu Al Amirat Salleh Mohamed Garbaa, Sharir Ab Razak and Raja Syuhada Raja Khairuddin. 

Muhyiddin turned up at the courthouse at around 8.20am and was greeted by some supporters. The main entrance of the courthouse was closed and only media and lawyers were allowed to enter.

Shortly after the charge was read out, Muhyiddin was seen leaving the court complex with his entourage. 

Muhyiddin's defence lawyer Mohamad Isa Mohamad Basir (Photo by Zahid Izzani/The Edge)

On Friday (March 10), Muhyiddin pleaded not guilty and claimed trial to six charges at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court. Four of the charges were for corruption and the two were for money laundering. 

Muhyiddin was charged with four counts of abuse of power for using his position as then prime minister when his party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, was alleged to have obtained gratification of (received) RM232.5 million in bribes from corporate entities, namely three companies and one individual. 

Muhyiddin's defence lawyer Dev Kumaraendran (Photo by Zahid Izzani/The Edge)

He faces not more than 20 years in prison for each charge and a summons of up to five times the amount of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher. 

The other two money laundering charges involves receiving RM195 million of proceeds of illegal funds from illegal activities from Bukhary Equity. These took place in 2021 and 2022. 

Muhyiddin is the second former prime minister to have criminal charges against him. The first was Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, who is currently in jail due to the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial.

Muhyiddin, 75, who was sacked by his former party Umno for speaking up against Najib and his misgivings in 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), was one of the founders of Parti Pribumi Besatu who had joined the Pakatan Harapan coalition in 2018 to topple the Barisan Nasional stronghold in the country.

In 2020, Muhyiddin was an integral part in the “Sheraton Move” which saw the Pakatan Harapan government collapse and the new coalition called Perikatan Nasional take over as government, which led to Muhyiddin to become the nation’s 8th prime minister and gained him the popular moniker “Abah”.

Muhyiddin’s charging follows a spate of corruption charges against his party members, related to the Jana Wibawa programme. They are former Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) information chief Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan and businessman cum Bersatu Segambut division deputy chief Adam Radlan Adam Muhammad.

Wan Saiful had relinquished his post as Bersatu information chief after he was charged.

On Saturday (March 11), the Bersatu Supreme Council rejected Muhyiddin’s resignation as party chairman. 

Bukhary Equity 

According to Companies Commission Malaysia (SSM) records dated Feb 15, 2023, Bukhary Equity is a company 99% owned by tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al Bukhary, while the remaining 1% is held by Syarifah Zarah Syed Kechik. - Edge Markets, 13/3/2023