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According to Malaysian immigration official, former PM Najib Razak has been banned from leaving the country.

The ban comes after Najib Razak said that he and his wife were planning to go on an overseas holiday on May 12.

Earlier this week, Najib Razak’s long-ruling Barisan Nasional coalition suffered a shock electoral defeat.

Najib Razak has been accused of diverting $700 million from a state investment fund in 2015, but has since been cleared by the authorities.

However, Malaysia’s new PM Mahathir Mohamad, who at 92 became the world’s oldest elected leader when he was sworn in on May 10, has said that Najib Razak could face a fresh investigation if sufficient evidence supports it.

Mahathir Mohamad has said that investigations will take place into alleged corruption in Malaysia, including the case involving the state investment fund.

He stood down as prime minister 15 years ago, but came out of retirement and defected to the opposition to take on and beat former protégé Najib Razak.

Photo AP

Malaysia PM Najib Razak Cleared of Corruption

Malaysia Protests: Bersih Activists Call for PM Najib Razak to Resign over Financial Scandal

Mahathir Mohamad appears to be making good on a promise, made during his election, to release imprisoned former political leader Anwar Ibrahim.

On May 12, Anwar Ibrahim’s daughter, Nurul Izzah, confirmed reports that her father will “receive a full royal pardon” and is due to be released on May 15.

Anwar Ibrahim was once Mahathir Mohamad’s deputy, but was jailed on widely-criticized charges of sodomy and corruption amid bitter tensions between the two men.

Najib Razak tweeted that he had been informed by the immigration authorities that he and his family would not be allowed to travel abroad.

The former prime minister gave no reasons for the authorities’ decision, but said he would abide by it.

Najib Razak, 64, has also announced he is quitting as chairman of the Barisan Nasional coalition and as president of his United Malay National Organization party.

He had said earlier that he and his wife Rosmah Mansor would go on a holiday on May 12.

It is believed they intended to fly to Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

Najib Razak had faced accusations of corruption and mismanagement over the state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The scandal has gripped the country for years.


1MDB, set up by Najib Razak in 2009, was meant to turn Kuala Lumpur into a financial hub and boost the economy through strategic investments.

However, the fund started to attract negative attention in early 2015 after it missed payments for some of the $11 billion it owed to banks and bondholders.

Then the Wall Street Journal reported it had seen a paper trail that allegedly traced close to $700 million from the fund to Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts.

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

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Speaking in a public address to mark Malaysia’s National Day, PM Najib Razak said he refuses to resign after mass protests, calling for national unity.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets at the weekend, urging the prime minister to step down over allegations he took hundreds of millions of dollars of public funds.

Najib Razak said such protests were “not the proper channel to voice opinions in a democratic country”.

He has denied pocketing $700 million of public money.

The payments, first revealed by the Wall Street Journal, came from the 1MDB state investment fund, which Najib Razak set up on coming into office in 2009.

Najib Razak has removed several leading officials who had criticized his handling of the scandal.

Malaysia’s anti-corruption agency has effectively cleared the prime minister, saying the money was from foreign donors.

Police says about 25,000 people took part in the two-day demonstration at their peak, though Bersih [Clean] – the pro-democracy group behind the rallies – put the figure at 300,000.

During his National Day speech, Najib Razak said it was clear the rest of Malaysia backed the government.

“We will never allow anyone from within or from outside, [to] simply walk in and steal, ruin or destroy all that we have built so far,” the state news agency Bernama quoted the prime minister as saying.

Photo AP

Photo AP

“Let us all remember, if we are not united, lose our solidarity and cohesion, all problems will not be resolved, and everything we have laboriously built will be destroyed just like that.”

Najib Razak said protests which “disrupt public order and only inconvenience the people” did not reflect maturity and were “not the proper channel to voice opinions in a democratic country”.

His coalition, Barisan Nasional, has governed Malaysia since independence 58 years ago.

However, the coalition’s support has declined in recent elections, and its critics have accused it of arrogance.

The movement against Najib Razak has been driven by influential former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed who was also at the rally in Kuala Lumpur on August 30.

Mahathir Mohamed, who led Malaysia from 1981 to 2003 and was formerly a Najib razak ally, said it was untenable for him to continue in his position.

“There’s no more rule of law. The only way for the people to get back to the old system is for them to remove this prime minister,” he said.

“We must remove this prime minister.”

The rally in Kuala Lumpur was deemed illegal, but was allowed to go ahead, and ended peacefully late on Sunday.

Previous rallies held by the Bersih movement have been dispersed by police using tear gas and water cannon.

Malaysia’s ruling National Front coalition has won a simple majority in the country’s parliamentary election, extending its 56-year rule, with two-thirds of seats confirmed.

PM Najib Razak’s Barisan Nasional coalition had passed the threshold of 112 seats in the 222-seat parliament, the Election Commission said.

Defeated opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim accused the party of widespread fraud before and during the polls.

Some 80% of registered voters cast ballots, said election officials.

Voters had been faced with returning the ruling party, or choosing Anwar Ibrahim’s untested three-party alliance, Pakatan Rakyat.

As the result was confirmed, Najib Razak, 59, urged all Malaysians to accept his coalition’s victory.

Malaysia’s ruling National Front coalition has won a simple majority in the country's parliamentary election, extending its 56-year rule

Malaysia’s ruling National Front coalition has won a simple majority in the country’s parliamentary election, extending its 56-year rule

“The results show a trend of polarization which worries the government. If it is not addressed, it can create tension or division in the country,” he said.

“We have to show to the world that we are a mature democracy.”

With results trickling in overnight, Barisan Nasional had won 127 seats to Pakatan Rakyat’s 77 by 03:30, the Associated Press reported.

Earlier, Najib Razak had said he was confident Malaysians would retain his coalition and even return the two-thirds parliamentary majority it lost in the 2008 polls.

Barisan Nasional, while credited with bringing economic development and political stability, has also been tainted by allegations of corruption.

In what was considered a tight race, it had campaigned hard to shore up its base among poorer ethnic Malay neighborhoods and in rural areas.

But Anwar Ibrahim refused to concede defeat, accusing the authorities of widespread abuses which he said had distorted the result of the election.

“It is an election that we consider fraudulent and the Electoral Commission has failed,” he told a news conference after midnight on Monday.

Allegations of election fraud surfaced before the election. Some of those who voted in advance said that indelible ink on their hands – supposed to last for days and show they had already voted – had easily washed off.

The opposition also accused the government of funding flights for supporters to key states, which the government denied.

Independent pollster Merdeka Center also cited unconfirmed reports of foreign nationals being given ID documents and being allowed to vote.

The international organization Human Rights Watch also said there had been well-planned attacks against the country’s independent media ahead of the polls.

Most traditional media in Malaysia are linked to the governing parties so their opponents rely almost exclusively on the internet to get their message out, correspondents say.

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Malaysia is voting in what is widely expected to be the most closely contested general election in the country’s history.

PM Najib Razak’s Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition is up against Pakatan Rakyat, a three-party alliance headed by Anwar Ibrahim.

Malaysian PM Najib Razak's Barisan Nasional coalition is up against Pakatan Rakyat, a three-party alliance headed by Anwar Ibrahim

Malaysian PM Najib Razak’s Barisan Nasional coalition is up against Pakatan Rakyat, a three-party alliance headed by Anwar Ibrahim

Voters are faced with returning the ruling party, in power for 56 years, or choosing an untested opposition.

Ahead of the polls, allegations of various forms of fraud emerged.

At polling station in the capital Kuala Lumpur queues had formed well before voting began.

Analysts say that for the first time since Malaysia’s independence in 1957, there is a real possibility that the opposition may be able to unseat the ruling party. Opinion polls suggest support for the two sides is evenly matched.

The possibility of an end to more than half a century of one-party rule has made this the hardest-fought election anyone can remember.

The hunger for change, especially among younger Malaysians, has given the opposition real momentum during the campaign.

But the ruling party has significant advantages in the cash it has spent on crowd-pleasing hand-outs, and in the way Malaysia’s parliamentary system over-represents rural areas, where the government’s support is strongest.

Nearly eight million people cast ballots in the first four hours of voting, comprising almost 60% of the 13.3 million registered voters, the election commission said.

Barisan Nasional, while credited with bringing economic development and political stability, has also been tainted by allegations of corruption.

But it remains to be seen whether Anwar Ibrahim’s coalition, comprising parties of different ethnicities and religions, can persuade voters to choose an alternative government.

Najib Razak, 59, said he was confident that Malaysians would retain his coalition and even return the two-thirds parliamentary majority Barisan Nasional lost in the 2008 polls.

During the last four years, Najib Razak said during a campaign rally on Thursday, the coalition had proved it could “protect and benefit all Malaysians”.

“The task of transformation is not over yet,” he told supporters in his home state of Pahang on Saturday.

Mohamed Rafiq Idris, a car business owner waiting to vote in the central state of Selangor, told the Associated Press news agency the ruling coalition had made “some mistakes” but he believed it would do its best to take care of the people’s welfare.

But first-time voter Bernie Lim, a banker, said: “I grew up recognizing that my parents voted for the present coalition at almost every general election. This time, they voted for the opposition. People do change.”

Anwar Ibrahim, 65, has said people’s clamor for change means that Pakatan Rakyat will emerge victorious.

“People have enough of this semi-authoritarian rule, of complete [government] control of the media, of strong arrogance, of power and endemic corruption,” he told AP in an interview.

He advised supporters “to remain calm, not to be provoked, not to take the law into their own hands, support the process”.

“Unless there’s a major massive fraud tomorrow – that is our nightmare – we will win,” he told AFP news agency.

Allegations of election fraud surfaced before the election. Some of those who voted in advance complained that indelible ink – supposed to last for days – easily washed off.

The opposition has also accused the government of funding flights for supporters to key states, which the government denies.

Independent pollster Merdeka Center has received unconfirmed reports of foreign nationals being given IDs and allowed to vote.

The international organization Human Rights Watch said there had been well-planned attacks against the country’s independent media ahead of the polls.

It said on Thursday that readers were unable to access several online news sites providing coverage of opposition candidates.

Officially, just 18 foreign electoral observers are in Malaysia. They are joined by 1,200 local observers from 17 non-governmental organizations.

The electoral commission said on Saturday that the foreign observers comprised six each from Indonesia and Thailand, and two each from Burma, Cambodia and the ASEAN secretariat.

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