Former Malaysian prime minister barred from leaving country
May 13 2018
He was due out in June but Mahathir told a press conference that King Sultan Muhammad V, during a meeting Thursday with opposition leaders, had indicated he was willing to grant him a royal pardon immediately.
Malaysia recently elected Mahathir Mohamad as its Prime Minister, taking the baton from the former leader Najib and making Mahathir as the oldest prime minister in the world.
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was defeated in the general elections, has been banned from leaving the country, Immigration officials said on Saturday.
The scandal became a major factor in the election and in the ouster of Najib Razak, Mahathir's predecessor and former protege.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, center, waves to crowds leaving National Mosque after performing Friday prayers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, May 11, 2018.
Supporters of the incoming government took to the streets of the capital, Kuala Lumpur, to celebrate their unexpected victory. He has consistently denied wrongdoing.
On expectations of market volatility on Monday with the change of government, Mahathir said a necessary action would be taken, depending on the way the market moved.
Bridget Welsh, a Southeast Asia expert at John Cabot University in Rome, said it was hugely ironic that Mahathir, who damaged Malaysia's democratic institutions with his strong-arm rule, has returned as its political savior.
"It is not just a comeback", she said.
"The Malaysian people were defrauded on an enormous scale", said the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI, at the time.
"I urge all UMNO members to unite and support the new leadership". Mahathir and Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the wife of his jailed ally Anwar Ibrahim, make up the rest of the Cabinet.
"We all feel sad about what happened, but as a party that upholds democratic principles, we accept the people's decision", he said, referring to the stunning defeat of the long-ruling alliance in Wednesday's general election.
When asked about whether the PH government ran into trouble finding the right persons for the cabinet, Mahathir said they need to assess candidates' qualifications and experience.
As finance minister, Lim will be expected to oversee the new government's plan to repeal a deeply unpopular goods and services tax, which it has promised to do within the first 100 days. Mahathir is being investigated under that law for claiming a plane he was to travel on was sabotaged during the campaign.
The National Front "will honour the principle of democracy in the parliament", he said.