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Interview

Malaysia's COVID-era PM Muhyiddin eyes return to power in polls

Leader hopeful voters will see lockdowns he imposed as being 'for their benefit'

Malaysia's former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin told Nikkei Asia that voters will rally behind him because of his handling of the pandemic. (Photo by Hakimie Amrie)

KUALA LUMPUR -- Former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin believes that his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic will help him to win votes for the National Alliance coalition in Malaysia's general election on Nov. 19, he told Nikkei Asia in a recent interview.

Muhyiddin, who served as leader from March 2020 to August 2021, said he dealt well with the unprecedented health crisis, despite criticisms of prolonged lockdowns that some have blamed for a rise in unemployment and poverty rates.

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