Former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin has again slammed the charges against him as an effort by his enemies to victimise him, saying he will fight them calmly in court as he has full conviction of his innocence.
"I have been in politics for 50 years. Throughout that period, I have done nothing wrong. I have always followed rules and laws. I do not violate rules and laws arbitrarily.
"I accept the charges against me with patience. I am aware that in the world of politics, there are enemies out to destroy me, my family and my party, especially when I'm faced with a greedy political enemy," he said, reading from a statement outside the Kuala Lumpur court complex.
Muhyiddin, who led the government at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, again denied any wrongdoing linked to the JanaWibawa programme to help Bumiputera contractors, as well as the restoration of a tax exemption given to Yayasan Albukhari, a charity foundation owned by tycoon Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary.
He also questioned how the Attorney-General's Chambers had announced the charges against him even before his statement was taken yesterday.
"I find that the decision to charge me was already decided earlier by those at the top of the country's administration, even before the investigation was completed.
"They used enforcement agencies as their tool to achieve their political goals. Clearly, the charges against me are a form of calculated political victimisation. It is an organised political persecution," said Muhyiddin.
Muhyiddin claimed trial today to six charges of abuse of power and money laundering at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court, with a seventh charge to be read out at a court in Shah Alam. The case will be heard next on May 26.
He faces up to 20 years in jail if found guilty. He was granted bail of RM2 million and ordered to surrender his passport.
Muhyiddin said investigations found that he had not received bribes as claimed by his enemies.
"This is in contrast with the slander thrown at me by saying that I embezzled RM600 billion from the economic stimulus packages during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Now it is proven that the accusation is an evil slander designed solely to tarnish my image, my family and my party," he said.
Muhyiddin also rubbished the claim by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that there would be a "court cluster" in PN, a phrase used to refer to the Umno president and other party leaders who have been charged with corruption.
"He is trying to compare me to himself. It is definitely different. He was accused of using foundation funds for himself. As for me, there is not a sen that went into my own pocket," Muhyiddin said, referring to the charges of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Zahid's foundation Yayasan Akalbudi.