Cash filled suitcases seized from houses linked to former Malaysian PM

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Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's government is considering investigating former leader Najib Razak for abuse of power, as it intensifies efforts to seek evidence of wrongdoing at scandal-plagued state fund 1MDB just days after taking office.

Wednesday's raid lasted for nearly 18 hours, according to a representative on Najib's legal team, Harpal Singh Grewal.

Police have seized 284 boxes of luxury handbags, some stuffed with foreign cash and jewelry, from properties linked to Malaysia's former Prime Minister Najib Razak.

"This harassment has now continued for nearly 18 hours and nothing meaningful has come from the search and seizure of what would appear to be insignificant personal items", the lawyer said. He said there is no indication that authorities will arrest Najib.

Malaysian police spent hours early Thursday searching former Prime Minister Najib Razak's house, reportedly part of a money-laundering investigation linked to a state investment fund that is being investigated overseas. He denies any wrongdoing. "There may be clashes between these two big personalities, but (officials in their) coalition as well as the expectations of Malaysians will provide a check and balance", he said. Mahathir also vowed to recover 1MDB assets forfeited by foreign investigators, totally up to more than 45 billion US dollars.

He said several policemen went to an upstairs room several hours after the search ended and began drilling a safe that had not been opened for two decades because the key had been lost.

The new prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, has vowed to probe Najib's alleged roll in pilfering billions of dollars from the state investment fund 1MDB.

But today he was granted a royal pardon by king Muhammad V of Kelantan thanks to the intervention of Prime Minister Mahathir, 92, who was sworn in as the world's oldest leader last Thursday, representing the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (PPBM). Najib and his wife have been barred from traveling overseas.

However, no documents were taken, according to Najib's lawyer Harpal Singh Grewal.

Jailed former opposition leader and current federal opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (C) gestures as he speaks to the media after returning to his home following his release from hospital in Kuala Lumpur on May 16, 2018.

The U.S. Justice Department said past year in a filing in a civil lawsuit that almost $30 million of funds stolen from 1MDB was used to buy jewellery for Rosmah, including a rare 22-carat pink diamond set in a necklace.

Of the many important factors which give the new government a realistic opportunity to pivot Malaysia away from an affirmative action based society towards one based on Singapore style multiracial equality is the fact that the Democratic Action Party forms an important part of the new government.

Mahathir has said he expects to run the government for up to two years during an uncertain transition period but has signalled the reins would be turned over to Anwar eventually.