Malaysia: Najib Razak quits UMNO party after hit with travel ban


In a historic election earlier this week, Najib's Barisan Nasional coalition, which has been in power since Malaysia's independence in 1957, lost to the Pakatan Harapan coalition led by Mahathir Mohamad, who has taken office as Prime Minister.

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.

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".

"It is true that I prevented Najib from leaving the country. he and his wife", he told a press conference.

"As far as health is concerned, I am not senile yet", he announced to the stunned participants, many of whom stood and snapped photos with their smartphones. "I got up late and lots of people got up late".

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He gave no reasons for the authorities' decision, but said he would abide by it.

"At the moment, we don't have an attorney general", he said, adding the new government also placed restrictions on people who have been involved in wrongdoing.

During the election campaign, Mahathir had vowed to investigate a multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, which was founded by Najib.

Malaysia's new prime minister said Saturday he "prevented" his predecessor from leaving the country. For the election, Mahathir linked with the opposition alliance which includes his former opponent, Anwar Ibrahim.

The announcement followed strong calls from the party for the 64-year-old to step down.

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Najib said his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also the former deputy prime minister, would take over as the new president of UMNO, the main component of the alliance.

Increasing indignation: Najib's defeat in Wednesday's election came amid growing public anger over the 1MDB scandal and the rising cost of living. He has denied wrongdoing.

What is the 1MDB fund? However, it accumulated billions in debts and has come under global investigation.

What followed was a major investigation by the Wall Street Journal, which reported it had seen a paper trail that allegedly traced close to $700 million from the fund to Najib's personal bank accounts. Malaysia's electoral commission also redrew the country's districts in an aggressive gerrymandering exercise that clearly benefited Najib, and the government even temporarily dissolved Mahathir's party in April.

When Malaysia's then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad popularized the catchphrase "Malaysia Boleh!"-Malaysia Can!-in the 1990s, it was meant to showcase the economic achievements of an authoritarian state". Anwar's wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, endorsed Mahathir and served as his deputy in the coalition to oust Najib.

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