Malaysia: Muhyiddin to name Hisham as DPM

  • HISHAMMUDDIN Hussein will be made deputy prime minister as early as this week as Muhyiddin Yassin tries to shore up his Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration and stem defections from Umno, sources said on 11 Jan 21.
  • The Malaysian Insight understands the move could anger instead of appease Umno after the party’s Supreme Council’s decision to review any electoral pact with Bersatu and Kelantan Umno chief and Machang MP Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub’s decision to withdraw his support for PN over the weekend.
  • Jazlan’s decision means that PN only has 110 MPs in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat, with the opposition bench also at 110 MPs. Two seats are vacant due to deaths. “Hisham will be deputy prime minister ASAP,” a source told The Malaysian Insight.
  • Other sources said the proposal was made but had not been told to allies in the PN pact.
  • The foreign affairs minister’s ascension to within a heartbeat of Malaysia’s top job is also causing ripples in PN as he is vaulting over other leaders, such as PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, the PN deputy chief, and Bersatu’s Azmin Ali, the de facto senior administration leader when their government was sworn in last Mar 20.
  • Speculation the foreign affairs minister will get the post reached feverish pitch over the weekend when pictures of him in the sultan of Johor’s private jet was published.
  • But such courtesy has been extended to other politicians, including PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, after his release from jail in 2018.
  • Hishammuddin has publicly questioned Umno’s move to review ties with PN last week and is seen as part of the faction that wants to keep being part of the Muhyiddin government and is opposed to demands for a snap general election.

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