PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yaasin was a reformer whose reforming efforts, many have chosen to overlook, says Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun.

The Dewan Rakyat Speaker in his speech at the launch of Muhyiddin’s pictorial biography entitled, “Muhyiddin Yassin: Leading a Nation in Unprecedented Crisis”, credited Muhyiddin for embarking on efforts to reform laws which was deemed as unsuitable when he was the Home Minister during the Pakatan Harapan administration.

“Malaysia’s success in encountering Covid-19, the success that we are all benefiting from now is a fruit whose seeds were sowed by Tan Sri Muhyiddin,” he said.

He said no one would know what would have happened today if it was not for the vaccination drive and movement control order implemented. He said despite that, Muhydiddin was not one to sing his own praises.

Azhar said Muhyiddin became prime minister at a time when Malaysia was a cauldron of political manoeuvres which was unprecedented in history in terms of intensity and viciousness.

“Yet Tan Sri Muhyiddin’s first initiative was to take care of the people and the section of society that needed help the most.

“Great leaders make hard decisions not populist ones,” he said while adding that no matter how unpopular the MCO was, the health and welfare of the people came first for Muhyiddin.

He also described Muhyiddin’s return after being dropped as deputy prime minister and ousting from Umno in 2016 and his subsequent triumphant return by building Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia from scratch to take on the ruling party in the 14th General Election as a modern tale of David and Goliath.

Azhar said just like there was a Brutus for Julius Ceaser, there were many Brutus’ in Muhyiddin’s case.

“The knives were out in darkened rooms and cold mornings, plans were hatched and executed,” he citing the infamous Et, tu Brute (You too Brute?) from William Shakespeare’s play depicting the dying words of Ceasar at the time of assassination.

The book authored by former Media Prima Bhd chairman Datuk Abdul Mutalib Razak details the former prime minister’s premiership during an unprecedented time in the face of a twin crisis of Covid-19 and economic downturn due to the pandemic.