Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Najib Razak, wife barred from leaving Malaysia

Najib Razak, wife barred from leaving Malaysia

Mahathir, who governed for more than two decades became, at the age of 92, the world's oldest elected leader.

Malacañang on Friday congratulated the Philippines' "old friend" Mahathir Mohamad on his return as Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Malaysia's defeated prime minister Najib Razak said after his loss: "I accept the verdict of the people and BN is committed to the principles of democracy".

Najib's coalition was ousted in Wednesday's general elections after the party had been in power for 60 years.

Nazir called Malaysia a new icon of democracy, saying it had "defied the odds and global trends with this peaceful transition to power in line with the will of the people".

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.

In the past, Nazir has criticised the "New Economic Policy" introduced by his late father in 1971, saying it had deviated from its original objective to eradicate poverty irrespective of race and eliminate identification of economic function with ethnicity.

Mahathir retired as Malaysia's PM in 2003, but came out of retirement, changed parties and took on his former protege (Picture: AP) Malaysian police officers fire teargas towards opposition party supporters in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (centre) speaking at a press conference after a Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting on May 11, 2018.

Mr Najib has consistently denied taking money from 1MDB or any public funds.

Then the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported it had seen a paper trail that allegedly traced close to $700m from the fund to Mr Najib's personal bank accounts.

He denied any wrongdoing, even as USA authorities alleged that over $4.5 billion was stolen from the fund in a fraud orchestrated by a financier known to be close to Najib and his family.

An angry crowd had gathered at a Kuala Lumpur airport, shouting at vehicles and seeking to stop them entering after Najib tweeted that he was going to take a "short break" with his family.

On his official Facebook fan page, emeritus senior minister Goh Chok Tong also commented that Mahathir's hard-fought victory brought to mind a memorable quote from Singapore's founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Mr Mahathir said his four-party alliance will hold a meeting on Saturday and name just 10 ministers.

Mr Mohamad says the new government will not conduct a witch-hunt, but that his predecessor will have to face the consequences if he has broken the law.

Meanwhile, Mr Matathir's former political foe Anwar Ibrahim, 70, who was jailed in 2015 on charges of sodomy, is set to be released after the country's king agreed to pardon him.

Anwar was a senior figure in government and Mahathir's heir-apparent until the pair dramatically fell out.

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