Malaysia's king to pardon opposition leader

Malaysia's king to pardon opposition leader

Malaysia's king to pardon opposition leader

Dr. Mahathir, who was previously Malaysia's prime minister from 1981 to 2003 and deserted the party two years ago, and the opposition he now leads made corruption allegations against Mr. Najib a cornerstone of their campaign.

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.

"My Barisan Nasional colleagues and I are committed to respecting the will of the people and facilitating a smooth transfer of power", Najib said.

Mr Mahathir's election win, at the head of the Pakatan Harapan, ended more than six decades of rule by the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

Nazir called Malaysia a new icon of democracy, saying it had "defied the odds and global trends with this peaceful transition to power in line with the will of the people".

The ousted Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak, has been prevented from leaving the country after appearing to attempt to take a flight to Indonesia.

A source in Mahathir's government told Reuters that Najib would be taking a holiday.

During that time it became mostly associated with affirmative action programmes to boost the economic opportunites of the country's majority ethnic Malays.

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Mahathir also named former Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin as home affairs minister and Mohamad Sabu as defense minister.

New Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he thought he could recover most funds from 1MDB and that Najib will pay the consequences if the law finds any wrongdoing.

In the months after the scandal first broke in 2015, Nazir said, without criticising his brother, the handling of 1MDB had tarnished Malaysia's image.

Increasing indignation: Najib's defeat in Wednesday's election came amid growing public anger over the 1MDB scandal and the rising cost of living.

Speaking to the media at the time and in response to a journalist's question, then-former Malaysian PM Najib Razak said that the outcome of the Malaysian general election (GE14) would not change the nature of relations between Malaysia and Singapore. United States investigators said Najib's associates looted $US4.5 billion from the fund, of which $US681 million landed in Najib's bank account and some $US30 million used to buy jewellery for his wife.

Mr Mahathir said: "We will go through the proper process of obtaining a pardon for Anwar ... it is going to be a full pardon, which of course, means he is not only pardoned but to be released immediately". Mahathir was expected to announce his cabinet line-up later Saturday.

Anwar had served as deputy prime minister and finance minister in Mahathir's government and was seen as Mahathir's heir-apparent until he was sacked in 1999. Mahathir has said the king has indicated to him that a royal pardon for Anwar would be announced soon.

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