Kuala Lumpur (Staff Report): Malaysia has barred former prime minister Najib Razak from leaving the country due to corruption cases against him.

Malaysia 's new leader, Mahathir Mohamad, said Saturday that defeated scandal-tainted prime minister Najib Razak and his wife have been barred from leaving the country to prevent them from fleeing from possible prosecution over a massive corruption scandal.

Earlier this week, Najib, whose long-ruling Barisan Nasional coalition suffered a shocking electoral defeat, said that he and his wife were planning to go on an overseas holiday on Saturday.

According to media reports, Najib has been accused of diverting $700m (£517m) from a state investment fund in 2015 but has since been cleared by the authorities.

On Thursday, Mahathir Mohamad was sworn in as Malaysia’s new prime minister, becoming the world’s oldest elected leader at 92.

Mahathir asserted that there would be a thorough investigation into cases of alleged corruption including the one involving the state investment fund.

Interestingly, Mahathir Mohamad was once leading Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and ruled the country for 22 years, from 1981 to 2003, however, he defected to the opposition to confront former fellow Najib Razak .