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Malaysia's ex-PM Najib barred from leaving

Malaysia's ex-PM Najib barred from leaving

Malaysia's former prime minister Najib Razak can not leave the country as authorities investigate his alleged role in a multibillion dollar corruption scandal.

Mahathir, who was the country's premier for 22 years and was sworn in again as prime minister on Thursday, said he would not be looking for a scapegoat in the scandal. Mahathir himself was investigated under the law before he led his four-party alliance to a stunning victory in Wednesday's election, ousting the long-ruling coalition.

Meanwhile, immigration authorities have issued an overseas travel ban on Najib, amid reports that the government is reopening investigations against him into a multi-billion-dollar scandal.

The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) is the main party in the coalition.

He said there was sufficient evidence for an investigation into Najib regarding the corruption scandal involving the 1MDB state fund that Najib set up. The state fund has spawned billion-dollar investigations in at least 10 countries including the USA and Switzerland. His holiday plans fueled rumors he was fleeing the country to escape possible prosecution over a massive corruption scandal but Najib denied this.

"We are looking for government documents that may have been illegally taken", said a senior police officer, who requested anonymity as he was not authorised to talk to the media. "I respect the direction and will remain with the family in the country", Najib wrote.

For the uninitiated, the so-called prophecy, which started circulating around the 1960s and 1970s, predicted that each letter in the word "Rahman" represents the name of Malaysia's prime ministers: Tunku Abdul Rahman, Abdul Razak Hussein, Hussein Onn, Mahathir Mohamad, Abdullah Badawi and Najib Razak.

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Dr Mahathir announced three top cabinet posts on Saturday, including Lim Guan Eng, a former banker and chartered accountant, as finance minister.

U.S. attorney-general Jeff Sessions called the 1MDB scandal "kleptocracy at its worst" and the fund is the subject of money-laundering investigations in at least six countries, including Switzerland, Singapore and US.

Dr Mahathir and Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the wife of his jailed ally Anwar Ibrahim, make up the rest.

Mohamad Sabu, president of Parti Amanah Negara, is defence minister, and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, president of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, is the home affairs minister.

Anwar's daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar said Saturday her father would be released from prison on Tuesday.

Since 1974, the finance minister had been an ethnic Muslim Malay.

Najib has said the deposit was a donation by an unnamed member of the Saudi royal family which had been largely returned.


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