World Bulletin / News Desk
Malaysia's former leader Najib Razak was hit with a travel ban Saturday as speculation mounted he was about to flee the country following his shock election loss, in a possible bid to avoid prosecution over a multi-billion-dollar scandal.
Later Saturday, Najib -- who has been under growing pressure from inside his Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition since this week's landslide loss -- announced he was quitting as head of BN as well as its main party.
The coalition's defeat in the election at the hands of an alliance led by his one-time mentor Mahathir Mohamad amounted to a political earthquake, which toppled an increasingly authoritarian regime that had ruled the country for six decades.
At 92, Mahathir is the world's oldest state leader. The former autocrat previously served as prime minister for over two decades and was a BN stalwart.
But he came out of retirement and defected to the opposition in a bid to unseat Najib over allegations that huge sums were looted from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, which Najib set up and oversaw.
Since the opposition victory, Malaysia's king has agreed to pardon jailed top politician Anwar Ibrahim -- a former nemesis turned ally of Mahathir -- in a move that could pave the way for him to become premier. Senior members of his party said he was expected to be freed Tuesday.Last Mod: 12 Mayıs 2018, 14:44