Malaysia's former PM and wife barred from leaving country

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Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife have been banned from leaving the country.

But, moments later, the immigration department said on its official Facebook page that Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, were blacklisted from leaving Malaysia.

Mr Najib responded swiftly by saying he respected the department's ruling and would stay with his family in the country.

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.

Najib was central in scandals including corruption and breach of trust in managing the nation's finances under projects such as 1Malaysia Development Bhd, from which funds were allegedly siphoned partly for personal spending.

Mahathir's deputy in the new government is Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Anwar's wife and the leader of his People's Justice Party.

US investigators said Najib's associates stole and looted $4.5 billion from the fund, of which some $700 million landed in Najib's bank account and some $30 million used to buy jewelry for his wife.

FORMER authoritarian ruler Mahathir Mohamad has been sworn in again as Malaysia's prime minister at the age of 92 - the first opposition election victory in six decades.

'We need to have this government today without delay, ' said Dr Mahathir.

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The resignation is to take up the responsibility for the defeat in the general elections, he said.

"We are not seeking revenge", he said.

Earlier, Najib was banned from leaving the country with his wife after speculation mounted that they were about to flee, in a possible bid to avoid prosecution over the 1MDB case.

Filings by the US Justice Department in a civil lawsuit indicated almost $30 million of the money stolen was used to buy jewellery for the prime minister's wife, Rosmah, including a rare 22-carat pink diamond set in a necklace.

Mahathir said he would name the rest of his 25-member Cabinet this coming week.

Mahathir had promised, if elected, to free Anwar and eventually hand power over to him.

There is little doubt that royalty has readily concurred with his plan of action, one that reaffirms the truism that there are no permanent enemies in politics ~ "The king has indicated he is willing to pardon Anwar immediately", said Mahathir.

"He, in fact, has hidden evidence of wrongdoing and that is wrong in law", he said, adding his new government would target those linked to the old regime suspected of corruption.

The Prime Minister said despite reviewing the contracts, particularly those involving China-funded projects, especially the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), Malaysia would still maintain relationships with the countries involved without favour.