Rumours of Malaysia having a deputy prime minister again under the current administration led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had been spreading like wild fire since the weekends.
According to Utusan Malaysia, an unnamed source reported that Ismail Sabri met his predecessor and Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday (3 January) to discuss this matter and may make the announcement next week.
“Nothing’s been decided yet, it may be next week after the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. By right Ismail Sabri should have met Muhyiddin to discuss this matter in particular the minister and deputy ministers in Bersatu,” the source was quoted saying.
Meanwhile, the 3 nominees were all from Bersatu and they are Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu, and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
“However, Muhyiddin is leaning more towards Azmin. When Muhyiddin was prime minister he trusted Azmin to take over as prime minister when he was not around,” the source said.
On the other hand, the source said Ahmad Faizal’s chances to become deputy prime minister for Bersatu is still in early negotiation stages.
“Faizal Azumu’s position is still being negotiated because he is the deputy president for Bersatu, meaning he is the second most powerful man in Bersatu after Muhyiddin in the current Cabinet,” the source told Utusan.
If Ahmad Faizal is appointed DPM, then his current post as youth and sports minister will go to UMNO information chief Shahril Hamdan.
“This is to even out the number of UMNO and Bersatu ministers in Ismail Sabri’s Cabinet,” the source added.
Malaysia currently does not have a deputy prime minister and this had been the convention since Muhyiddin became the 8th prime minister in February 2020.
Muhyiddin had appointed Ismail Sabri to be his deputy prime minister, but was subsequently forced to step down from office, making way for the Ismail to be the prime minister.
Nonetheless, Ismail Sabri continued Muhyiddin’s initiative when he became PM and appointed four senior ministers to his Cabinet.
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