May 12, 2018 / 4:02 AM / 16 days ago

Ousted Malaysian PM Najib says will respect ban on travel abroad

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Ousted Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Saturday that he and his family would respect an immigration department ban on his travel abroad and stay in the country.

Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak prays before he attends the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) 72th anniversary celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia May 11, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

Najib said earlier on his Facebook that he and his family were taking a holiday overseas from Saturday and would return next week.

But, moments later, the immigration department said on its official Facebook page that Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, were blacklisted from leaving Malaysia.

“I have been informed that the Malaysian Immigration Department will not allow my family and me to go overseas,” Najib said in a tweet after the immigration ban was announced.

“I respect the directive and will remain with my family in the country.”

Najib, 64, lost to former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in this week’s general election.

Mahathir, who was sworn in as prime minister on Thursday, has vowed to investigate a multi-billion-dollar graft scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which was founded by Najib.

Najib has consistently denied any wrongdoing in connection with 1MDB.

Two sources told Reuters on Friday that Mahathir will appoint a finance ministry adviser to oversee the recovery of billions of dollars allegedly stolen from 1MDB.

Najib said earlier on Facebook he accepted responsibility for the election loss, and while on holiday would consider his position as president of the United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) party and chairman of the routed Barisan Nasional coalition.

Reporting by Rozanna Latiff and Joseph Sipalan; writing by Praveen Menon; Editing by John Chalmers

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