Crowd gathers at Malaysia airport after ousted PM announces "short break"

Riot police officers stand guard outside an entrance to Subang airport near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 12, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Dozens of people gathered at a small airport just outside Kuala Lumpur on Saturday after reports that ousted Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was scheduled to fly from there to Jakarta with his wife.

The drama came after the scandal-plagued former premier, whose ruling coalition was ousted in a general election this week, said in a Twitter message earlier on Saturday that he planned to take a short break with his family.

Two sources told Reuters on Friday that new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad planned to reopen investigations into a massive graft scandal that had plagued Najib since 2015. [L3N1SI3NX]

The crowd at the airport tried to block cars entering the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport near the Malaysian capital, but were held back by guards.

Riot police were posted, but there was no violence.

Nearly 30,000 people were watching the event on Facebook Live, until the feed was interrupted.

There was no sign that Najib or his wife, Rosmah Mansor, were at the airport.

Mahathir, sworn in as prime minister on Thursday, has vowed to investigate a multi-billion-dollar graft scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which was founded by Najib. Najib has consistently denied any wrongdoing in connection with 1MDB.

(Writing by Raju Gopalakrishnan; Editing by John Chalmers)