According to The Malaysian Insight, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein is expected to be named deputy to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
The news portal cited anonymous sources saying Hishammuddin could be appointed to the position as early as this week.
“Hisham will be deputy prime minister ASAP,” one of the unnamed sources was quoted saying. However, the news portal also reported that other allies in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) grouping have yet to be informed of the proposal.
As of now, Hishammuddin is the Sembrong Member Parliament (MP) under UMNO. He currently does not hold any supreme leadership council position in his party.
He is the son of Tun Hussein Onn – Malaysia’s third prime minister – as well as former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s cousin.
To recap, Muhyiddin – who is from Bersatu, did not name a deputy prime minister after taking power last March. Instead, he appointed four “senior ministers” to aid him in his duties, including chairing Cabinet meetings on his behalf if he was to be absent from the country.
Political analysts believed that Hishammuddin’s alleged appointment is Bersatu’s attempt to appease UMNO after the latter announced its intention to sever ties with Bersatu.
On 9 January, Machang MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub, on the other hand, officially announced the withdrawal of his support for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Perikatan Nasional (PN).
His one-man move has caused the PN coalition to lose its 111-seat simple majority. The government of the day currently only holds half of the seats in the Dewan Rakyat.
According to Malay Mail, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said after the supreme council meeting last week that a motion to sever ties with Bersatu will be decided in the Umno general assembly on January 31.