February 28, 2020 / 10:03 AM / a month ago

Factbox: Muhyiddin, Malaysia PM candidate for Mahathir's party

FILE PHOTO - Former Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad listens to former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin during a news conference following the temporary deregistration of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia’s former interior minister Muhyiddin Yassin will be the prime ministerial nominee of the party of Mahathir Mohamad, the veteran leader who this week plunged the country into turmoil by resigning as prime minister.

Here are some facts about Muhyiddin, 72.

-He is from the southern state of Johor, neighboring Singapore, where he was chief minister for almost nine years.

-His father was an influential religious teacher in his hometown. Graduated from the University of Malaya in 1970 in Economics and Malay Studies.

-He is the president of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), which he started in 2016 and is now chaired by Mahathir.

-Formerly with the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the long-ruling establishment party that was defeated in the last general election. He joined it in 1971. Mahathir says Muhyiddin is open to working with UMNO to win the race for PM.

-He was deputy prime minister between April 2009 and July 2015 before being sacked and thrown out of UMNO for questioning former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s handling of a multi-billion-dollar scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

-In 2018, Muhyiddin was diagnosed with early-stage pancreatic cancer. Mahathir had taken charge of the home affairs ministry as he sought treatment.

-He keeps a low profile. A person who knows him well says he is very close to his family.

Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Robert Birsel

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