Malaysia on Saturday barred former Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife from leaving the country, amid multiple reports that they had planned to depart on a private plane for Indonesia.
The ban was announced on Facebook as Malaysian reporters mobbed the entrance to the small Subang International Airport outside Kuala Lumpur, said to be the place where the former first couple would board the jet.
“The Immigration Department of Malaysia wants to confirm that Dato Sri Najib Tun Abdul Razak and Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor have just been blacklisted from going abroad,” said a notice posted on the department’s Facebook page at around 11:20 a.m. local time. The plane had reportedly been scheduled to depart at 10 a.m.
Najib said he had been informed of the decision in a tweet sent around noon.
“I respect the order and will be with my family in the country,” it said.
In a long statement posted moments earlier on his Facebook page, Najib said he would be going abroad to relax and ponder his political future.
“My family and I will be traveling abroad starting today to relax after the end of the 14th General Election,” it said.
He added that he was “fully responsible” for the outcome of the election, as president of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and the coalition it anchored, the Barisan Nasional (BN).
“During this period, I will decide on my position as President of UMNO and Barisan Nasional Chairman, taking into account the deterioration of the people’s support for Barisan Nasional in the 14th General Election,” he said.
“Upon returning home next week, I will announce the decision and my future plans.”
Najib apologized to Malaysians and said he was “taking a break” after a long political career and bruising electoral fight, in a series of tweets earlier in the day that had a farewell tone,.
“I pray that after this divisive period, the country will unite. I apologize for any shortcomings and mistakes, and I thank you, the people, for the opportunity to lead our great nation. It has been the honor of my lifetime to serve you and Malaysia.”
Full story: BenarNews
N. Nantha and Hadi Azmi
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