Malaysia bars more officials from leaving country amid corruption probe

Malaysia's newly elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad attends a news conference in Menara Yayasan Selangor Pataling Jaya

Malaysia's newly elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad attends a news conference in Menara Yayasan Selangor Pataling Jaya

Mr. Mahathir was spurred out of retirement by a corruption scandal at 1MDB, a state fund set up by Najib that is being investigated by the USA and several other countries after Najib's associates allegedly stole and laundered $4.5 billion from it.

Ranging from embattled Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali to whether he had met Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the 93-year-old veteran politician was always quick and composed with his answers.

However, the markets were assuaged by prime minister of Malaysia, Mahathir's first remarks that revealed his stance for a business-friendly administration and search for ways to boost the nation's equity market.

The pardons board in Malaysia's capital will meet this week to discuss Anwar's release and Mahathir said he would be released the same day. She said the full pardon for her father, who is now in a hospital recovering from shoulder surgery, was sought due to a "miscarriage of justice". His wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who heads Anwar's party, is now the new deputy prime minister.

Mr. Mahathir, who was prime minister for 22 years until 2003, left the ruling party he once led to join a four-party coalition that scored a stunning victory in last week's elections.

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Analysts say tensions in the new government are possible due to the dominance of the two leaders - Mahathir is the chairman of the alliance and Anwar is its de facto leader.

Reuters could not verify the report.

The volatile relationship between the duo has dominated the country's political landscape for over three decades.

Before he can become prime minister, Anwar must first contest a by-election to become a member of parliament.

But in 1998, they disagreed on how to tackle the Asian financial crisis and fell out.

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Najib's Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition last week suffered a shock defeat to an alliance of parties headed by the elderly Mahathir Mohamad, ending the corruption-mired regime's six decades in power. He and his supporters have said the charges are politically motivated by Najib to end his career.

"We will divulge the evidences and facts to the appropriate authorities at the right time", AirAsia said in a statement.

Asked if Najib would go to prison, he said: "It all depends on the investigation being made and whether there is a case against him or not".

1MDB is now under worldwide probes in at least six countries, including Switzerland and Singapore, over charges of money laundering and bribery.

Billions of dollars are believed to have been siphoned off from the fund, with most reportedly disappearing overseas, while $681 million also mysteriously appeared in Najib's personal bank accounts in 2013. He and the fund have denied wrongdoing.

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