Malaysia's former PM Najib Razak, wife banned from leaving Malaysia

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Razak stepped down as leader of his party UMNO and the former ruling coalition Barisan Nasional in a news conference Saturday.

The alleged graft scandal against Najib was reported in 2015 and reports said that Najib's bank account received $700 million from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad fund (1MDB), set up in 2009 to promote economic development. He has said Najib will have to face a court if any wrongdoing is found.

The defeat of Najib's Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in last week's poll by an alliance led by his one-time mentor Mahathir Mohamad was a political quake, which toppled an increasingly authoritarian regime that had ruled the country for six decades.

There had been widespread speculation Najib would fly overseas after his shock election defeat this week, amid calls for him to be prosecuted over the sprawling 1MDB corruption scandal. Anwar is in custody on charges of sodomy and corruption and can not take any office until he is pardoned and released. Mahathir has said he plans to eventually hand the premiership to Anwar. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the wife of Anwar, is Deputy Prime Minister.

"It is true that I prevented Najib from leaving the country".

" We have made a promise in our manifesto that, on the first 100 days in power, we will implement 10 major conditions that need to be changed".

"Mahathir's immediate tasks will focus on consolidating his hold on the government and maintaining unity in his coalition", Hutchinson said.

"The (king) has indicated he is willing to pardon Datuk Sri Anwar immediately", Mahathir told a press conference, using a Malay honorific to refer to Anwar. "This will be very important for the country's institutional integrity".

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It was a remarkable comeback for Mahathir, who was premier for 22 years until his retirement in 2003.

Speaking to Malaysian media, sources close to Najib had dismissed claims he was fleeing, saying he just wanted to go on a break after a grueling election campaign.

Odd things are happening in Malaysia; unusual things sometimes do.

Najib, 64, lost this week's general election to an alliance headed by Mahathir, his mentor-turned-rival, at least partly because of popular disgust over the 1MDB scandal. "Capital control would become necessary in unusual situations". "It has been the honor of my lifetime to serve you and Malaysia", he said. Mahathir's heavy-handed approach worked: Malaysia recovered from the crisis to establish itself as a commodities juggernaut.

"We can't say abracadabra and everything happens".

Malaysians woke up Thursday to an unexpected new world of possibilities.

"Mahathir has shown that he's interested in moving swiftly to investigate any malfeasance, including those that pertain to the former prime minister", he added. Asked in January how he stays in shape, Mahathir outlined a routine that includes walking, pumping iron, cycling and horse riding.

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