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Police raid Najib's house Wednesday night, still there Thursday

Late night raids raise debate on whether the timing could have been better

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police raided houses owned by former prime minister Najib Razak, including the one in Taman Duta where he lives.

The operation began on Wednesday night and continued into Thursday. The searches ended about 4am .

A photo posted online of Mr Najib dressed in a red baju Melayu asleep on the couch as police were searching his place raised debate on whether the timing of the raid could be better.

News portal Malaysiakini reported an individual close to Mr Najib as criticising the police for raiding the former PM's home on the eve of Ramadan.

Mr Najib had just returned home after performing "tarawih", extra prayers that are performed by Muslims during Ramadan, at the Kampung Baru mosque, The Straits Times reported.

The source told Malaysiakini that Mr Najib should be accorded better courtesy by virtue of being a former PM.

He also shared the photograph of Mr Najib falling asleep on the sofa .

"This is uncalled for. Why couldn't they conduct the search earlier? He has to prepare for Sahur (pre-fasting meal) soon," the source said, as quoted in the report.

Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, from the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition, has also spoken out against the late-night raid, The Straits Times reported.

"As former victims of early dawn police raids, I must stress my disagreement in ransacking any home at such an ungodly hour. Charge, investigate, prudently. The principles of justice and wisdom always apply," the eldest daughter of former jailed politician Anwar Ibrahim said on Twitter yesterday.

Dr Mahathir said: "The police have their standard operating procedure. I didn't know that they should raid at night. But my instruction is very clear. I'm not going to torture people or things like that. I want people to be treated decently," he said.

When asked if Mr Najib's wife, Madam Rosmah Mansor, was also being investigated, Dr Mahathir said that the police were given the responsibility of investigating all criminal cases, The Star reported.

"It doesn't matter who. If there is a case, we will take action.

"It is up to those involved in the investigations," he said, adding that the investigations involved the police and several agencies such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Auditor-General's Department.

Speaking to reporters outside Mr Najib's Taman Duta residence at around 4am yesterday, the former premier's lawyer, Mr Harpal Singh Grewal, confirmed the police search and that Mr Najib and his family were cooperative.

"No documents were taken, nothing of note, only personal possessions, including bags. We believe that the police will take out two to three boxes of items," he said. "There are no arrests now and no indication that there will be an arrest."

Police were still at Mr Najib's house late in the afternoon, with the area cordoned off.

His lawyer said investigators are trying to drill into a 20-year-old safe after the key could not be located, the Malay Mail reported.

Mr Najib has been embroiled in a multibillion-dollar scandal since 2015 after around US$700 million (S$932.8 million) - alleged to be 1MDB funds - appeared in his personal accounts before the election in 2013. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Anwar: Wan Azizah refused King’s offer to be PM

PETALING JAYA: Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail declined the King's offer to be made prime minister because she held true to the deal by Pakatan Harapan (PH) component parties to elect Dr Mahathir Mohamad as premier, said Mr Anwar Ibrahim.

Mr Anwar said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, had first suggested that his wife, also the Parti Keadilan Rakyat president, be appointed prime minister as the party had garnered the most seats in GE14.

However, Dr Wan Azizah declined the offer as the deal in PH was that coalition chairman Dr Mahathir would be made prime minister. She also said she was not ready for the role.

Dr Wan Azizah asked for one thing - she asked for her husband to be released immediately. The King said he will do it as fast as possible. Mr Anwar Ibrahim 

"But Dr Wan Azizah asked for one thing - she asked for her husband to be released immediately. The King said he will do it as fast as possible," Mr Anwar, 70, said in his first speech in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday after his royal pardon.

- ASIA NEWS NETWORK/THE STAR

Mahathir: Many figures on country’s financial position may be false

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad yesterday said many of the figures recording the country's financial position may be false, but he did not offer any evidence or say which data he was referring to.

"Regarding the numbers indicating our financial position, I realise many of these figures are false," he told a news conference. "So we need to determine how much of it is inaccurate."

Dr Mahathir made the comment in response to a request for a fresh forecast on Malaysia's economic growth. But it was not clear what numbers he was referring to, Reuters reported.

The country's central bank yesterday reported that economic growth slowed to 5.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year, compared with the same period last year, leaving the new government with the task of turning around an economy that has decelerated for two consecutive quarters.

Dr Mahathir said he will be in charge of the Education Ministry, while Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will be in charge of women's affairs.

"We will try to get 13 ministers sworn in on Monday if the Istana (Palace) agrees to it," Dr Mahathir said .

He said he will take over the education portfolio because many people are uneducated, and he needed to give his attention to it.

He said that the remaining eight core Cabinet positions would be divided equally between the parties in Pakatan Harapan - meaning two for each party.

Dr Mahathir was also asked what he and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong would discuss when they meet tomorrow.

He said: "We haven't fixed any subject. We will have a discussion, and if he raises any issues, we will discuss them."

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