Published: Sat, May 12, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Malaysian ex-PM Najib Razak and wife banned from leaving country

Malaysian ex-PM Najib Razak and wife banned from leaving country

Former Malaysian Prime Minster Najib Razak said Saturday that he is stepping down as head of his United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition following the defeat in the general elections. "So based on this principle I have chose to give up both positions", Najib said.

"I have a moral responsibility to step down", he said at the party's Supreme Council meeting.

The party's youth leader and former defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein will stand in as deputy president.

"The Women, Youth and Puteri wings have given their full support on this matter".

Denying the allegations, Najib said the BN leadership is committed to respect the voices of the people, hence would assist to ensure a smooth transition in power.

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Najib also thanked his supporters who entrusted him as a leader and urged them to retain their confidence towards the party.

Najib, who became prime minister in 2009, was barred from leaving the country by the immigration department as he was about to leave Malaysia "to take a break" earlier Saturday.

Najib was largely blamed for the downfall of Umno and Barisan Nasional in GE14, which saw the coalition losing power at the federal level for the very first time.

Najib was central in scandals including corruption and breach of trust in managing the nation's finances under projects such as 1Malaysia Development Bhd, from which funds were allegedly siphoned partly for personal spending.

"We all feel sad about what happened but as a party that upholds democratic principles, we accept the people's decision", he said, referring to the stunning defeat of the long-ruling alliance in Wednesday's general election.

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