Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today confirmed that he prevented his predecessor Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife from leaving the country, and that investigation into 1MDB must be reopened as soon as possible.
“It is true that I prevented Najib and his wife (Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor) from leaving the country, as far as I know only he and his wife. I’m not aware of any other people,” he told a press conference after chairing the Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council meeting today.
Najib and Rosmah have been blacklisted by the Immigration Department from going abroad, forcing a last-minute cancellation today of their plans to take a break overseas.
According to Dr Mahathir, his government had to “act quickly” as there were a lot of complaints against Najib and all of them had to be investigated.
The prime minister said if some of the complaints turned out to be valid, action had to be taken fast to avoid issues such as extradition involving other countries.
Asked if he would order the declassification of the Auditor-General’s report on 1MDB under the Official Secrets Act, Dr Mahathir said this must be done.
“In fact, I have given instructions already, to the police to move the restriction from the Official Secrets Act.
“They will then submit the report to me, then I will study it in order to release it,” he said.
He also said that former Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Zeti Aziz would not lead the investigation into 1MDB as she was now part of the council of elders.
He said the investigation into 1MDB must be reopened as soon as possible.
“It is a complex matter involving a lot of people and a lot of decisions.
“Our priority is to get back the 1MDB money.
“We will see which report was buried and not buried,” he said.
The prime minister also had meetings with Armed Forces Chief General Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun.
Asked on the meetings, Dr Mahathir explained they were held to give certain instructions besides reminding them of their responsibilities under their respective jurisdictions.”I had to issue directives to them on many things that must be done now under the power that I have and their responsibilities.
“For example, if I want Najib not to leave the country, I cannot go to the airport and detain Najib, I have to ask those who are empowered to do so,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also gave the impression that he had sacked Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali.
He said that the AG would be investigated about his involvement with the previous government.
The AG had cleared Najib of wrongdoing in the 1MDB scandal.
Dr Mahathir added that Pakatan Harapan (PH) had placed restrictions on a number of people who might be involved in wrongdoings or had made wrong decisions in the previous government.
“At the moment ‘we have no AG’. We are considering names but need to study the suitability of the candidates,” he added.
When contacted, Apandi declined to comment on Dr Mahathir’s “we have no AG” comment.
“It is better not to comment, thank you,” he said.