Malaysia’s ex-prime minister has reportedly sought police protection due to concern about his family’s safety after the launch of an inquiry into him over a huge corruption scandal.

A spokesman for Najib Razak said he asked “for protection for himself and his family as they fear for their safety.”

A police officer guards the entrance road to the residence of Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur (Sadiq Asyraf/PA)A police officer guards the entrance road to the residence of Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur (Sadiq Asyraf/AP)

His long-ruling coalition suffered a shocking defeat in the May 9 elections amid anger over at least 4.5 billion dollars (£3.3 billion) that investigators say was looted and laundered by his associates from a state investment fund he set up.

The new government has reopened an investigation into the case, with police raiding Mr Najib’s properties and seizing cash, jewellery and other valuables.