Former Malaysian PM faces new corruption probe after election defeat

New Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad walks by a board displaying his

New Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad walks by a board displaying his

Anwar served as Mahathir's deputy and finance minister in the 1990s before falling out with him during the Asian financial crisis, being sacked from the government and forming the Reformasi movement.

Najib started the 1MDB fund in 2009, and USA investigators say at least US$4.5 billion was stolen and laundered by Najib's associates, some of which landed in his bank account.

His release reunites him with a man who was once his ally and mentor, then his bitter enemy, and is now his ally again: 92-year-old Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who returned to power last week at the head of the opposition alliance. It comes as Mahathir accelerates efforts to revive a probe into 1MDB, which was set up in 2009 under Najib's watch to support domestic infrastructure projects. In a odd twist of fate, however, it was Mahathir - the man whose stunning upset in elections last week paved the way for Anwar's release - who put him in prison the first time in 1999.

Grewal said there's "no indication at all" that Najib would be arrested. More than a dozen police cars turned up at Najib's Kuala Lumpur residence late on Wednesday, shortly after he had returned from evening prayers a local mosque.

And Mahathir announced that attorney general Mohamed Apandi Ali had been sent on leave after he reported for work on Monday and would be temporarily replaced by the solicitor general, pending the results of a police report and investigation. Two places at a condominium where Najib's family is believed to own property were also searched, it said.

As Mahathir officially took up office on Monday, a complaint against Najib was lodged with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commisison (MACC) by Abdul Razak Idris, its former investigations and intelligence director.

"This is important because the amount is big and it can help us clear some debts", he said, adding that the total amount which can be recovered has yet to be determined. We will declare the money is ours and will apply for it to be released to us. He said his new government is also seeking to cut wastage in the government, including possibly axing 17,000 political appointees.

"I and Mahathir have buried the hatchet already, it was a long time ago, " he said, his tie and jacket off and sleeves rolled up, after returning from the palace, news agencies reported. The tax has been blamed for raising the cost of living and has angered many Malaysians.

Anwar Ibrahim's repeated imprisonments occurred amid a wider crackdown on freedom of expression and peaceful political dissent in Malaysia.

Anwar will have to become a member of parliament - most likely through a by-election - in order to be sworn in as prime minister.

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