New Malaysian Leadership Says Defeated Premier Can't Leave Country

Malaysia's Mahathir 92 to be sworn in as prime minister after historic poll win

Mahathir Mohamad was sworn in as Malaysia's prime minster for the second time in his long political career on Thursday, although this time as the head of an opposition coalition that claimed its first election victory in six decades.

As for Najib's widely despised wife, Chin said she only had one choice.

The Immigration Department, which had initially said there was no travel blacklist for Najib, issued a brief statement that Najib and Rosmah "have just been blacklisted from leaving the country".

Najib said his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also the former deputy prime minister, would take over as the new president of UMNO, the main component of the alliance. It gave no reason.

Speaking at a news conference, Dr Mahathir said he would announce a 10-member cabinet on Saturday, including ministers for finance, defence and home affairs. "I respect these instructions and will stay in the country together with the family", he said on Facebook.

The return of Dr Mahathir Mohamad as Malaysia's Prime Minister on Thursday after a 15-year hiatus and at the age of 92, makes him the world's oldest elected leader. Police were guarding the airport.

The statement came after a flight schedule had shown that Najib and his wife were due to take a private jet to Jakarta at 10am from on Saturday morning. Najib's coalition was defeated by Mahathir's opposition alliance in a stunning election upset on Wednesday.

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Businessman Raja Singham, 49, who had tried to block the van from entering, said: "We have the right to know who is inside the auto, as a citizen I will fight for that".

Mr Mohamad says the new government will not conduct a witch-hunt, but that his predecessor will have to face the consequences if he has broken the law.

The scandal exploded in 2015 when reports emerged that Najib received US$681 million into his personal bank accounts.

But soon after winning a second term in 2013, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a fund launched by Najib to promote economic development, slid into a massive debt hole and allegations surfaced that money was missing.

Najib has denied wrongdoing and Malaysia's attorney-general has cleared him of any offence, saying the funds were a legitimate donation from the Saudi royal family. "I am confident that these close and cordial relations will be further strengthened and consolidated in the years ahead for the mutual benefit of our countries". I apologise for any shortcomings and mistakes, and I thank you, the people, for the opportunity to lead our great nation.

But the US State Department has alleged in civil lawsuits that US$4.5 billion was looted from the fund, and used to buy everything from high-end US real estate to artworks and a luxury yacht.

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