Malaysia's national news agency is reporting that former Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is under investigation for a massive corruption scandal, has sought police protection over concern about his family's safety.

Najib's long-ruling coalition suffered a shocking defeat in May 9 elections amid anger over at least $4.5 billion that investigators say was looted and laundered by Najib's associates from a state investment fund he set up.

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

A spokesman for Najib told the Bernama news agency Sunday that Najib had asked "for protection for himself and his family as they fear for their safety." He didn't give details.

Najib's main aide said he couldn't immediately comment.