Malaysia's Mahathir says king willing to grant full pardon for Anwar

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Malaysia's newly elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Saturday he had stopped his predecessor Najib Razak from leaving the country, and sacked the attorney general who had cleared him of involvement in a multi-billion-dollar scandal.

But analysts and politicians played down this possibility saying Najib would likely stay in Malaysia - at least in the short term - until the dust had settled in his party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), and in any case there were unlikely to be many countries willing to accept him. "As far as I know, he and his wife (were prevented from leaving)".

"I agree with the views expressed by members and the people that Umno needs a new leadership but it must be done accordingly so that the party can restore its dignity and the principles it once upheld", Hishammuddin tweeted earlier.

Najib may soon face increased government scrutiny over a state fund he created called 1MDB.

He said the council of elders or eminent persons was created because "We realised that most of us here have little or no experience in government".

"We want to review all contracts that are not in favor or do not benefit Malaysia", Lim said in a briefing in Kuala Lumpur, referring to big-ticket projects conceived by the previous government.

"Najib, 64, was under massive pressure in the run-up to the election thanks to various allegations of corruption and misappropriation of billions in state funds in a scandal that became known as 1MDB and became subject to an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department".

A director of Rajawali Corp has denied having any knowledge of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak's canceled flight to Jakarta. The second source, a lawmaker, said the announcement could be made on Saturday when Mahathir names members of his new cabinet.

A leaked flight manifesto showed that he and his wife were due to leave for Indonesia on Saturday.

Zeti, 70, became the first female Bank Negara Malaysia governor when Mahathir picked her in 2000, after she served a two-year stint as acting governor amid a controversial move to peg the ringgit to stem capital outflows.

"Umno and BN were defeated badly so I, as Umno president and BN chairman, will step down".

Najib lost the election at least partly because of popular disgust over the 1MDB scandal.

How has Mr Najib reacted to the ban? However, it accumulated billions in debts and has come under global investigation.

Then the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported it had seen a paper trail that allegedly traced close to $700m from the fund to Mr Najib's personal bank accounts.

Anwar is in prison on corruption and sodomy charges that were widely denounced as politically motivated.