Police search ex-premiers house
New Malaysian government is pushing ahead with corruption investigations
KUALA LUMPUR Police conducted an extensive search of the home of Malaysias scandaltainted former premier yesterday that his lawyer decried as harassment, as the new government presses forward with probes into a massive graft scandal after seizing power in historic elections.
Police arriving in a dozen vehicles converged on the home of corruption-tainted Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur beginning late on Wednesday, drawing crowds of journalists and onlookers.
A lawyer for Najib said officers were searching the home and a separate apartment in a money-laundering probe. The search at Najibs home continued into yesterday afternoon.
The new government headed by 92-year-old former premier Mahathir Mohamad, who secured a stunning election victory last week, has vowed to probe allegations that Najib oversaw the looting of a sovereign wealth fund.
But Najibs lawyer Harpal Singh Grewal said his client, 64, viewed the search as harassment.
The police just took some handbags and some clothes, Harpal said.
His mention of handbags prompted snickering on Malay- sian social media. Najibs wife Rosmah Mansor is ridiculed over her reported penchant for jet-set overseas shopping trips and vast collection of designer handbags, clothing and jewellery, all symbolic critics say of the ousted governments lack of concern for economically struggling citizens.
Harpal said the house contained only personal belongings, though he added that police also were attempting to open a safe, the key for which had been lost.
This is harassment. Whatever... is in the house is not commensurate with the allegations, Harpal said.
(Najib) has told them: Tell me what you want. We will give.
Harpal said the search left Najib very tired and visibly upset.
There was no indication that any arrests were planned.
Police officials confirmed the search but declined to give details.
The police action adds to a sense of rising legal peril for Najib, who was barred from leaving the country just days after the election over allegations that he, his family, and cronies looted billions from state investment fund 1MDB.
The search began just hours after the pardon and release from prison of Anwar Ibrahim, a top figure in the now-victorious political alliance. Anwar, 70, had spent the last three years in jail under Najib. AFP
Malaysian police enter at the former Prime Minister Najib Razaks residence in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. AFP/VNA Photo