Malaysia's Najib quits as head of coalition, party after electionl loss
13 May, 2018, 02:37 | Author: Myra Gill
Mahathir, prime minister for 22 years until stepping down in 2003, was credited with modernizing Malaysia but was also known as a heavy-handed leader who imprisoned opponents and subjugated the courts.
In his earlier statement on social media, Mr Najib said he was committed to "facilitating a smooth transfer of power".
In relation to Anwar Ibrahim's role, founder and leading figure of the People's Justice Party, Mahathir said that his future role will be determined by the party.
Najib has consistently denied any wrongdoing in connection with 1MDB.
The travel ban came after Mahathir vowed to investigate the 1MDB state fund corruption scandal in which Najib is implicated.
The opposition faced an uphill battle at the election due to what critics said were no-holds-barred attempts by Najib to hang on to power.
"The Malaysian Immigration Department would like to confirm that Najib Razak and Rosmah Mansor have just been blacklisted from leaving the country", the agency said on its official Facebook page. "I respect the direction and will remain with the family in the country", Najib wrote.
Najib never appeared at the airport.
As a white van with heavily tinted windows attempted to pass, the crowd surrounded the vehicle and demanded to know who was inside.
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.
UMNO had led a multi-party coalition to govern Malaysia since the country's independence in 1957 until the election defeat on Wednesday.
I pray that after this divisive period, the country will unite.
The US State Department alleges in civil lawsuits that $4.5 billion was pillaged from 1MDB in an audacious scheme of fraud and money-laundering, and funnelled to the United States where it was used to buy everything from artwork to high-end real estate.
As it became clear that BN was facing a historic wipeout, Najib kept a low profile before surfacing Thursday morning to tell a press conference that he accepted the people's will, although he stopped short of conceding defeat.
He added that the Cabinet will be set up "as soon as possible", with the key positions announced by next week and the full Cabinet in two to three weeks.
The royal pardon would mean he could return to politics straight away.
Also Saturday, Mahathir appointed Lim Guan Eng, an ethnic Chinese, as finance minister, the first ethnic minority to be appointed to the powerful post in 44 years.
One of Malaysia's most charismatic politicians, Anwar was heir-apparent to the premiership until Mahathir sacked him in 1998 and he was subsequently jailed for sodomy and abuse of power.
Anwar, now 70, was jailed again in 2015 during Najib´s rule and had been due for release next month.
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