Malaysia ex-PM banned from leaving country – quits as party head

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Malaysia’s new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at a news conference on May 12 in Kuala Lumpur confirmed that he banned his predecessor Najib Razak and the latter’s wife Rosmah Mansor from leaving the country. The move came after a leaked flight plan stirred suspicion that the pair was planning to flee to Jakarta on a private jet provided by a befriended Indonesian tycoon.

The Immigration Department of Malaysia said earlier that Najib and his wife on Mahathir’s order had been placed on a blacklist that prevented them from leaving the country. Najib wrote on social media that he would respect the decision. He said he and his wife just wanted to spend some short time on a break abroad.

The travel ban increases the likelihood that Najib will be investigated on corruption accusations over the misappropriation of billions of dollars from state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), including $731 million that the US Justice Department said was deposited into his own accounts.

Mahathir said there was enough evidence to reopen a probe into the 1MDB scandal and his administration will do it “as quickly as possible.”

He added that he was instructing the Auditor-General to remove any restrictions on publicising the details of a report from a local investigation into 1MDB, and planned to replace the Attorney-General, who is suspected of covering up Najib’s role in the scandal, though he did not name a candidate for the role.

Meanwhile, Najib resigned as president of his United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) party and as chairman of the Barisan Nasional coalition, which ruled Malaysia for 60 years, with immediate effect, just shortly after the travel ban was issued.

Najib’s deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who was also the former deputy prime minister, takes over as the new president of UMNO, the main party in the Barisan Nasional alliance.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysia’s new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at a news conference on May 12 in Kuala Lumpur confirmed that he banned his predecessor Najib Razak and the latter’s wife Rosmah Mansor from leaving the country. The move came after a leaked flight plan stirred suspicion that the pair was planning to flee to Jakarta on a private jet provided by a befriended Indonesian tycoon.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysia’s new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at a news conference on May 12 in Kuala Lumpur confirmed that he banned his predecessor Najib Razak and the latter’s wife Rosmah Mansor from leaving the country. The move came after a leaked flight plan stirred suspicion that the pair was planning to flee to Jakarta on a private jet provided by a befriended Indonesian tycoon.

The Immigration Department of Malaysia said earlier that Najib and his wife on Mahathir’s order had been placed on a blacklist that prevented them from leaving the country. Najib wrote on social media that he would respect the decision. He said he and his wife just wanted to spend some short time on a break abroad.

The travel ban increases the likelihood that Najib will be investigated on corruption accusations over the misappropriation of billions of dollars from state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), including $731 million that the US Justice Department said was deposited into his own accounts.

Mahathir said there was enough evidence to reopen a probe into the 1MDB scandal and his administration will do it “as quickly as possible.”

He added that he was instructing the Auditor-General to remove any restrictions on publicising the details of a report from a local investigation into 1MDB, and planned to replace the Attorney-General, who is suspected of covering up Najib’s role in the scandal, though he did not name a candidate for the role.

Meanwhile, Najib resigned as president of his United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) party and as chairman of the Barisan Nasional coalition, which ruled Malaysia for 60 years, with immediate effect, just shortly after the travel ban was issued.

Najib’s deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who was also the former deputy prime minister, takes over as the new president of UMNO, the main party in the Barisan Nasional alliance.

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