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Former Malaysian PM Najib to take a break amid reports of flight to Jakarta

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Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Twitter that he would take a short break to spend time with his family, hours after reports that his name was on the flight manifest of a private jet scheduled to leave for Jakarta on Saturday morning.

[KUALA LUMPUR] Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Twitter that he would take a short break to spend time with his family, hours after reports that his name was on the flight manifest of a private jet scheduled to leave for Jakarta on Saturday morning.

"After over four decades in politics and the recent election campaign, which was regrettably personal and perhaps the most intense in Malaysian history, I will take a short break to spend time with my family whom I have not seen enough of in recent years," Mr Najib said in a tweet.

Mr Najib lost to former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad in this week's general election. Dr Mahathir has vowed to investigate a multi-billion-dollar graft scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which was founded by Najib.

Mr Najib has consistently denied any wrongdoing in connection with 1MDB.

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The Wall Street Journal, citing people close to Dr Mahathir, reported earlier on Saturday that Mr Najib would be prevented from leaving the country. Reuters was unable to verify the report.

The manifest of the jet, which is scheduled to fly from an airport near Kuala Lumpur to the Indonesian capital at 10:00am (0200 GMT), names Mr Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, as the only two passengers, two sources and two media reports said earlier.

A source in Dr Mahathir's government told Reuters that Mr Najib would be taking a holiday. Malaysiakini, a news portal, cited an unnamed source close to Mr Najib as saying that he would take a two-day break in Indonesia.

Dr Mahathir, previously prime minister for 22 years, was once Mr Najib's mentor but turned against him over the 1MDB scandal and led the opposition challenge to him in this week's election, defeating the coalition that had ruled Malaysia for six decades.

Dr Mahathir has vowed to return billions of dollars lost from 1MDB.

He is expected to announce his cabinet line-up later on Saturday.

REUTERS