Here Are 7 Surprising Things You May Not Know About PM Muhyiddin

This Malaysia Day, 16 September, will mark Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's 200th day since he was announced as the nation's eighth Prime Minister.

Cover image via Berita Harian & Sinar Harian

This Malaysia Day marks Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's 200th day since he was announced as Malaysia's eighth Prime Minister

The 73-year-old premier came to power at a time when the country was manoeuvring a pandemic and a hung parliament following a week-long political crisis.

It is safe to say that it was no small feat for Muhyiddin to pick up the pieces and lead the country when local COVID-19 cases hit three figures daily and the price of crude oil plummeted to an 18-year low - severely affecting our national revenue.

To commemorate Muhyiddin's 200th day running the country, here are seven things you should know about him:

1. He is an Economics and Malay Studies graduate

Image via Sinar Harian

Born on 15 May 1947, Muhyiddin received his early education at two primary schools in Muar, before attending Muar High School, reported Bernama.

Following that, he studied at Universiti of Malaya (UM) and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and Malay Studies.

2. Muhyiddin has been serving Malaysia for 50 years

According to Berita Harian, 23-year-old Muhyiddin started out as a civil servant in the Johor state government in 1970.

Over the next seven years, he participated in politics and was appointed to several UMNO positions, most notably the party's youth division chief.

During the fifth General Election in 1978, he contested in the Pagoh Parliamentary seat and won. His popularity with the Johorians continued to grow following that, leading him to be appointed as Johor Chief Minister in 1986.

Fast forward nine years later, he became a Cabinet Minister at the age of 48. The first ministry he helmed was the Ministry of Youth And Sports (1995 to 1999), before moving on to the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (1999 to 2004), the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry (2004 to 2008), the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (2008 to 2009), and the Ministry of Education (2009 to 2013).

He was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister in 2009. However, he was fired seven years later for questioning former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak's way of handling the 1MDB scandal in 2015. Muhyiddin was later dismissed from the party he had served for 44 years.

Without a party, he co-founded Bersatu and contested in the 14th General Election under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition. He then served as the Home Minister until the collapse of the PH government.

On 29 February, he emerged as the country's eighth Prime Minister, putting an end to the week-long political instability in the country.

There is no denying that Muhyiddin packs an astounding political portfolio.

3. A son of a renowned religious teacher

Muhyiddin's late father Muhammad Yassin Mohamad.

Image via Harian Metro

If you are wondering where Muhyiddin gets his solemn composure, we think he got it from his father, Muhammad Yassin Mohamad.

Muhyiddin is the son of Muhammad Yassin and his second wife, Khadijah Kassim, reported Harian Metro. The premier's father is said to be a renowned religious teacher in Muar.

In 1955, Muhammad Yassin received the Ibrahim Sultan Medal as an acknowledgment of being one of the state's 40 religious leaders.

His contributions during his lifetime include building and managing two schools, Sekolah Menengah Mohd Yassin and Madrasah As Sa'adiah, spreading the knowledge of Tauhid and Tasawwuf in mosques around Muar, and establishing a welfare body in the state.

While he was alive, Muhammad Yassin also said one out of his 47 children will one day become a minister - and it came true.

"It turns out (Muhammad Yassin's) premonition is correct. Today, my uncle (Muhyiddin) became the Prime Minister," said his 52-year-old granddaughter Khalidah Abd Ghafar.

4. A father to four beautiful children

Other than being the leader of the country, Muhyiddin is also a husband of 48 years.

He married Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman on 22 September 1972, and together they have four children, Fakhri Yassin, Nabilah, Najwa, and Farhan Yassin.

Two of them, according to Nikkei Asian Review, are singers who own production houses.

It is a public secret that Najwa goes without her father's last name in her singing career because she does not want her background to be a contributing factor to her success.

She is known to the public as Najwa Mahiaddin, not Najwa Muhyiddin.

When Muhyiddin was fired by Najib as the deputy premier in 2015, his children publicly voiced their support and defended him.

Muhyiddin also has six grandchildren.

Muhyiddin and his daughter Najwa.

Image via @njwamusic (Instagram)

5. A cancer survivor

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visiting Muhyiddin at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in 2018.

Image via The Straits Times

In July 2018, the Pagoh MP went to Singapore to undergo chemotherapy treatment, reported Malay Mail.

Two months later, he revealed that he was suffering from first-stage pancreatic cancer and that he was on track to recovery.

After he was sworn-in as the prime minister, he assured members of the public that his medical condition would not hinder his duty to serve the country, reported New Straits Times.

6. An 'abah' to Malaysians

Image via Bernama

During the Movement Control Order (MCO), Muhyiddin was praised by the rakyat for his humility.

When he first announced the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN), he used familiar names such as 'Makcik Kiah', 'Madam Lee', 'Haji Salleh', and 'Surjit Kaur' to exemplify how the financial aid can help Malaysians from all walks of life.

Muhyiddin also mentioned viral Facebook group 'Masak Apa Tak Jadi Hari Ni' during one of the live telecasts.

His solemn and yet comforting composure has earned him the nickname 'abah' (father) from Malaysians.

7. Muhyiddin promises to fulfill 10 'pledges' to the rakyat

Although the PN government came into power without a manifesto, Muhyiddin stressed that "this doesn't mean that there was no accountability", reported New Straits Times.

Here are the 10 crucial foundations he pledges to fulfil under the PN government:

1. Contain the COVID-19 pandemic in the country
2. Provide economic protection to the rakyat during this trying time
3. Make Bumiputera agenda a national agenda
4. Focus on digitalisation through the National Digital Infrastructure Plan
5. Ensure sufficient food supply through the Cabinet committee on food security policies
6. Fighting corruption and commit to institutional reforms
7. Emphasis on education, primarily focusing on improving the facilities and preparing for virtual learning
8. Reform the health sector
9. Improve security and public order
10. Protect the country's sovereignty, fight terrorism, and resolve illegal immigrant problems

Muhyiddin said the responsibility he is shouldering is a test for him. He promises to give his utmost priority in protecting the people regardless of race and religion.

"I will not compromise on integrity. I will not trade my integrity to protect (my) position and posts," he said.

"I have been ousted from the government for defending the truth. There is no way I will allow this when I'm back in the government."

Recently, a poll revealed that almost 70% of Malaysians are satisfied with Muhyiddin's performance:

The Pagoh MP was sworn-in as the eighth premier on 1 March:

You may be interested in: