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Malaysia bans ex-PM Najib Razak from leaving nation

Malaysia bans ex-PM Najib Razak from leaving nation

Malaysia's newly elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Saturday he had stopped his predecessor Najib Razak from leaving the country, and sacked the attorney general who had cleared him of involvement in a multi-billion-dollar scandal.

Immigration Department announced on its Facebook page, "The Malaysian Immigration Department would like to confirm that Najib Razak and Rosmah Mansor have just been blacklisted from leaving the country".

His holiday plans fueled rumors he had been visiting the country to flee potential prosecution over a huge corruption scandal but Najib denied that.

Mr Najib responded swiftly by saying he respected the department's ruling and would stay with his family in the country.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Friday (May 11) the country's monarch had indicated he was willing to grant a full pardon to jailed politician Anwar Ibrahim.

The resignation is to take up the responsibility for the defeat in the general elections, he said.

"We are not seeking revenge", the 92-year-old prime minister said.

Dr Mahathir said 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 helped Mr Najib keep the investigation contained, though he did not name a candidate for the role.

As the image of the leaked manifest for a flight to Jakarta spread like wildfire online, Najib insisted in social media posts he was planning only a "short break" overseas to rest after the election and would be back next week.

In a tweet (in Malay), he said he had been informed by the immigration authorities that he and his family would not be allowed to travel overseas.

"I have taken the decision to step down as president of UMNO and chairman of Barisan Nasional immediately", Najib told a press conference on Saturday.

Muhyiddin Yassin was named home affairs minister and Mohammad Sabu will serve as defence minister.

After that, there were reports of around $700 million transferred from the fund to Najib's personal bank accounts.

Mr Najib denies any wrongdoing.

In a Twitter message on Friday, Najib said he was praying that, "after this divisive period", Malaysia would unite. I apologize for any shortcomings and mistakes, and I thank you, the people, for the opportunity to lead our great nation.

The US State Department alleges in civil lawsuits that $4.5 billion was pillaged from 1MDB in an audacious scheme of fraud and money-laundering, and funnelled to the United States where it was used to buy everything from artwork to high-end real estate.

Dr Mahathir on Saturday began forming his cabinet by announcing three key ministerial posts.

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