Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Economy | By

Mahathir 'Prevented' Najib From Leaving Malaysia

Mahathir 'Prevented' Najib From Leaving Malaysia

Najib said earlier on Facebook he accepted responsibility for the election loss, and while on holiday would consider his position as president of the United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) party and chairman of the routed Barisan Nasional coalition.

Najib said earlier on Saturday that he was going overseas for a week to rest, but just minutes later the Department of Immigration announced that he and his wife had been barred from leaving the country.

After his flight schedule was made public on Friday night, Najib tweeted that he was taking a "short break" to spend time with his family and apologised for his "shortcomings and mistakes".

One of the most remarkable aspects of Mahathir's comeback has been his reconciliation with jailed opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim, his former nemesis, a relationship that has loomed large over the Malaysian political landscape for decades.

Police on Saturday raided a deluxe Kuala Lumpur apartment block at which relatives of ousted Prime Minister Najib Razak had been staying as they searched for sensitive documents the new government fears may be taken out of the country, two senior police officers said.

Mr Najib has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Malaysia's new Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, has announced a policy of reviewing all business projects involving foreign investors. Mahathir has pledged a full independent investigation into the billions of embezzled funds and many believe this will implicate Najib.

When asked if the restrictions on Najib were due to 1MDB, Mahathir said: "There are a lot of complaints against (Najib) all of which have to be investigated. we find that some of the complaints are valid".

As a white van with heavily tinted windows attempted to pass by, the crowd surrounded the vehicle and it was only allowed to pass after they confirmed Najib was not inside.

The prime minister also announced a home affairs minister and a defence minister to take the number in his cabinet to five.

The attorney general, Apandi Ali, declined to comment.

Anwar, once a leading light in the party that ruled Malaysia for decades, was jailed on sodomy charges in 2015, after a trial he says was politically motivated.

Anwar had served as deputy prime minister and finance minister in Mahathir's government and was seen as Mahathir's heir-apparent until he was sacked in 1999.

But in a remarkable turnaround, the pair reconciled and joined forces as allegations mounted over 1MDB and Najib became increasingly authoritarian.

Anwar was expected to be released in June, after serving the bulk of the sentence.

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