Mahathir bars predecessor from leaving Malaysia amid probe

Mahathir bars predecessor from leaving Malaysia amid probe

Prime Minister Mahathir has also banned Najib and his wife from leaving Malaysia, after a leaked flight manifesto showed Najib and his wife were scheduled to leave on a private jet Saturday for Jakarta.

The Immigration Department, which earlier denied that Najib and his wife were barred from leaving, says in a brief statement Saturday the duo have "just been blacklisted from leaving the country".

Mahathir confirmed that he prevented Najib from departing. He has said Najib will "face the consequences" if any wrongdoing is found.

"I am stepping down as President of UMNO and chairman of BN coalition with immediate effect", Najib told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur. He also said he was committed to "facilitating a smooth transfer of power". He said his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will take over as president of UMNO, a party that dominates the coalition.

Najib's Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition last week suffered a shock defeat to an alliance of parties headed by elderly Mahathir Mohamad, ending the corruption-mired regime's six decades in power.

"We have placed certain restrictions on a number of people who may be involved in wrongdoing or in making wrong decisions", Mahathir told reporters. "Maybe this will be an opportunity for us to fix our weaknesses and shortcomings, although these are more a matter of perception than reality".

Mahathir said his Cabinet would have 25 members and that he would name the remaining members this coming week.

The victory made the 92-year-old Mahathir, who ruled Malaysia with an iron fist between 1981 and 2003, the world's oldest elected leader.

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He is currently not in Malaysia, and while Mahathir said his officials know where Low is, they would not seek his extradition for now.

Sedia Disiasat (Ready To Be Investigated) - The former Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, is ready to be investigated on any issues related prior the 14th General Election (GE14) as Harian Metro frontpaged that Khalid and the former Attorney General Tan Sri Apandi Ali will similarly be investigated in the 1MDB scandal.

In an ideal situation, Mahathir's ideological opposition to United States hegemony can form a new alliance with the pragmatic Singapore style neutrality of the Democratic Action Party.

In a briefing in Penang's capital of George Town last Sunday, he declined to give details on the policy, and repeatedly cautioned that he can't make promises, including on scrapping the GST within 100 days, until after he's sworn in as finance minister.

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

He is the first ethnic Chinese to hold the post in 44 years in a country that has to manage tensions between the majority Malay group and minorities, and where economic advantages are given to ethnic Malays.

The prime minister also said that while there is not a complete ban against former government officials leaving the country, several individuals are now under investigation for alleged wrongdoings.

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