Malaysia in suspense ahead of Najib's visit to anti-graft agency

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A special task force is being formed to investigate the financial scandal of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) announced in a statement today.

This task force met for the first time on Tuesday and will focus on bringing back funds and assets, as well as taking criminal action on those involved in wrongdoing in 1MDB under various laws including the penal code, according to a statement.

His press conference came shortly after Najib Razak, the former prime minister who ran the country during the 1MDB scandal, entered the MACC to give a statement.

During the presser, Mohd Shukri said he was warned in 2015 that he would lose his job as the deputy head of MACC, before being asked to retire early during a probe into 1MDB's affairs that year.

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Police have already launched raids on properties linked to the toppled leader as they probe the fraud, seizing a huge stash of handbags and suitcases stuffed with cash, but Najib insisted at the weekend he had not stolen public money. A domestic investigation launched during his premiership concluded that the money in his accounts was a donation from the Saudi royal family.

The Malaysian police have seized a trove of cash, jewelry and designer handbags from several premises related to Najib, including his private residence and luxury condominiums, part of a corruption probe following the election.

Najib and Rosmah have been blacklisted by the Immigration Department from leaving the country. The government has also told the current attorney general, who cleared Najib of wrongdoing in 2016, to go on leave, and has relieved the country's treasury chief, who is also the 1MDB chairman.

"The authorities should not have played a role in the rise of numerous criticism and insults on social media, and instead, abide by the law and act professionally when carrying out their duties", she said.

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Razak slammed the police raids as "irresponsible and cavalier", his lawyer Harpal Singh Grewal said Saturday.

"The police urge the relevant parties to provide the details of the leaked photographs if any, to enable us to conduct an investigation to verify if in fact the photographs came from the police", Singh said, adding that Najib's family members and friends were present during the searches.

He said the chorus of allegations was a smear campaign aimed at ruining the United Malays National Organisation, the party that until now has led every government since Malaysia's independence six decades ago.

Speaking to staff at the prime minister's office on Monday, Mahathir counted the cost of his predecessor's alleged misgovernance.

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"Usually, we are the ones that need to look for the witnesses".

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