Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s political career has had plenty of ups and downs, from his humble beginnings in UMNO to his rise as the eight Prime Minister of Malaysia and to his current status of being the caretaker prime minister before the nation’s ninth Prime Minister is to be elected.
Therefore we dig a little deeper into the life of our former prime minister who went by two names during his tenure, to provide you with some facts that you may or may not have already known.
1. His Foray Into Politics
Born May 15, 1947, the now 73-year-old ex-premier of Malaysia first got involved in politics in 1971, when he joined UMNO as an ordinary member in its Pagoh division. He was eventually elected as the Pagoh MP in 1978 along with holding the title of deputy federal territories minister. And the after winning the Bukit Serampang state seat (being uncontested) he went on to become the 13th Menteri Besar for the Johor state.
He re-entered the federal level political scene in 1995, when he was elected as youth and sports minister, which was followed by a number of other ministerial positions, such as agricultural, industrial trade, education. All of which drew to an end in 2015, when he was removed as deputy Prime Minister by Dato’ Sri Najib – who was the premier in 2015 – because Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was being critical of the 1MDB scandal.
2. His Family
Many sources attribute Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to being a family-oriented man who keeps things pretty low-profile. He married his wife, Noorainee Abdul Rahman a year after his foray into politics, in 1972. And the couple have four children together: Fakhri, Nabilah, Najwa and Farhan.
What is probably lesser known is that, while the household is anything but musical, two of the couple’s children are musical artists, Farhan whose stage name is Moslem Priest and Najwa, who goes by NJWA and was also previously a Prestige 40 Under 40 honouree.
There are many controversies that surround him during his time in power. Among notable ones are when he mentioned that he is “Malay first” rather than “Malaysian first” in a move which is most likely done to appease the Malay majority of the state.
Then there was the time when Muhyiddin, as the Deputy Prime Minister, used an RMAF Nuri helicopter to attend and open UMNO’s divisional assembly in the interior of Sabah, which had nothing to do with his official duties.
Most recently of course, was his name ‘change’ (or rather reverting to the original) plus what could have been perceived as delay tactics, in order for him to hold onto power for as long as possible – with the proclamation of the state of emergency as well as the press release stating he is suffering from diarrhoea.
4. His Health & Education
Just like a number of other ministers, including our previous health minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin obtained his Bachelors in University of Malaya, completing a degree in Economics and Malay studies, the same year he joined politics.
In 2018 however, his health took a toll and he had to travel to Singapore for chemotherapy, to treat his first-stage pancreatic cancer; during which Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visited Tan Sri Muhyiddin at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital. After he was sworn in as Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tan Sri Muhyiddin ensured the people that medical condition would not hinder his duty to serve the country.
5. His Time As A Premier
Joining forces with Mahathir in 2016 to form Bersatu was instrumental in Muhiyiddin becoming the premier – that and the infamous Sheraton move. He eventually claimed the seat after Mahathir resigned (again) as Prime Minister, which led to Muhyiddin’s appointment by the Agong.
Sadly, despite a relatively good start, during some of the most toughest times within the nation, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would make history as having the shortest tenure as Prime Minister of Malaysia – slightly over a year and one-third.
He started of giving Malaysians hope, when he delivered a powerful speech which mentioned that despite not being chosen by Malaysians, he truly cares for the people. Then, while most countries were ravaged by the pandemic, Malaysia’s Covid response seemed to be having a positive effect.
Things took a turn for the worst when he allowed the Sabah elections to take place, which led to ministers and those in power blatantly exposing a double-standard which Muhyiddin said was not there. This eventually led to the #KerajaanGagal movement, which was further emphasised by the #BenderaPutih movement that showcased how the government had failed its people.
Eventually after much pressure, Tan Sri Muhyiddin finally resigned as of August 16, 2021; although he will remain as a caretaker Prime Minister till a successor is appointed.
(Hero Image: Mohd Rasfan/AFP; Featured Image: Reuters)