KUALA LUMPUR – Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had to cancel his plans to go on holiday abroad at the 11th hour following the Immigration Department’s move to bar him from leaving the country.
Najib had earlier issued a statement stating that he and his family would go for a holiday abroad starting today to take a rest after the general election on May 9.
But then came the Immigration Department’s statement blacklisting him and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor from leaving Malaysia.
Not long after that, Najib tweeted that he would adhere to the directive.
“I was informed that the Immigration Department has barred me and my family from going abroad. I will abide by this directive and be with my family in the country,” said Najib, who is also UMNO president and Barisan Nasional chairman.
The general election saw BN, which had ruled Malaysia for six decades, defeated by what is regarded as a people’s ‘tsunami’.
Meanwhile, Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali confirmed the information on the blacklist announced on the official Facebook account of the Immigration Department.
“Yes, it’s (the status on the Facebook) confirmed … correct. That’s the latest statement from the Immigration Department,” he said when contacted by Bernama.
A report on social media stated: “The Department of Immigration Malaysia confirms that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak and Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor have just been blacklisted from travelling abroad.”
In a comment made prior to the latest developments, Mustafar denied that the former prime minister and his wife had been blacklisted as claimed by a local news portal.
Meanwhile, reporters from the local and international media had gathered at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang early today following talk that Najib would be travelling abroad.
An image resembling a flight manifest that went viral yesterday listed Najib and Rosmah as among the passengers.
It showed 6 am as the time of arrival of an aircraft at the airport, also known as Subang Skypark, and its time of departure four hours later to the Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Indonesia.
Petaling Jaya District Police chief ACP Mohd Zani Che Din told reporters at the airport that police checks had found no flight such as that based on the information that went viral on social media.
He said the police would continue to beef up patrol at the airport as it was a security area.
“We urge people who do not have any business there to leave immediately. Do not be influenced by parties who share such information as it leads to more people gathering in this (airport) area,” he said.
“Those who have no business to be present at the airport are crowding the area, making it difficult for passengers to catch their flights on time,” said Mohd Zani.
He said he had received no instruction to detain anyone. It is the Immigration Department which has the authority to detain individuals leaving the country.
The police had stationed 50 Light Strike Force personnel at the entrance to the airport terminal until about 10.45 am.
Crowds of people who had gathered very early in the morning also left after learning that Najib had been blacklisted and would not be able to travel abroad.
Pakatan Harapan won the general election on May 9 and its chairman, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was sworn in as the seventh prime minister of Malaysia. He has become the prime minister for the second time, after having been the prime minister from 1981 to 2003.