KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — Umno’s Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is the new deputy prime minister in the Perikatan Nasional government while his party colleague Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has been made senior minister in charge of the Security Cluster.
In a statement today, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said that the appointments have been presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and take effect immediately.
Both Ismail Sabri and Hishammuddin will still retain their initial portfolios as defence minister and foreign affairs minister respectively.
“This appointment will be able to help the prime minister manage the country’s administration and meet the needs of the people in the current health and economic crises,” the PMO said, referring to Ismail Sabri’s appointment.
“Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has been appointed as Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs. As Senior Minister, he will lead the Security Cluster which was previously led by Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri,” the PMO said.
It added that Hishammuddin will also assist the prime minister implement the National Recovery Plan.
“It is hoped that these appointments will further enhance the capacity of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, especially in facing the Covid-19 pandemic, strengthen unity among the parties that make up the government and strengthen the PN government with a transparent, corruption-free governance with integrity,” the PMO concluded.
Ismail is the first deputy prime minister in the PN administration. He is also one of three Umno vice-presidents. Hishammuddin does not currently hold any senior party position.
Muhyiddin had not named anyone as his deputy when he took power last year. Instead, he had appointed four senior ministers.
The other three are International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Education Minister Datuk Mohd Radzi Md Jidin, and Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
Azmin and Radzi are both from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, the same party as the prime minister while Fadillah is from Sarawak-based Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu.