KUALA LUMPUR: The appointment of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the new Deputy Prime Minister is seen as providing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak with the best combination to helm the country.
Muhyiddin, 62, is regarded as most suitable for the post because of his stature as an experienced political leader. He has also consistently called for changes to be made by Barisan Nasional to restore the people’s confidence in the coalition following its dismal performance in the general election last year.
An Umno vice-president for three terms, Muhyiddin, who is the Pagoh MP, was elected Umno deputy president at the party’s general assembly last month.
Muhyiddin, who is Education Minister in the new Cabinet, began his political career as treasurer of the Muar-Pagoh Umno Division before he was appointed the Pagoh Umno Youth head and then the division’s vice-head in 1975.
He was elected a member of the Umno Supreme Council in 1987, after having failed in his first attempt in 1986.
Born in Muar on May 15, 1947, Muhyiddin received his early education at Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Maharani, Muar, and furthered his studies at Universiti Malaya, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree (honours) in Economics and Malay Studies.
Muhyiddin first won the Pagoh parliamentary seat in the 1978 general election and served as the MP for two terms.
In the general election in 1986, he won the state seat of Bukit Serampang and was appointed Johor the mentri besar, serving in that capacity for nine years.
In the general election in 1995, he won the parliamentary seat of Pagoh and has retained the seat since.
He was appointed parliamentary secretary to the Foreign Ministry in 1981 and nine months later as Deputy Federal Territories Minister.
About a year later, Muhyiddin was appointed Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, a post he held until August 1986 when he became the Johor mentri besar. In 1995, he was appointed Youth and Sports minister and four years later as Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, where he played a vital role in introducing the ceiling price for several essential goods and also launched the war against pirated compact discs (CDs) and video compact discs (VCDs).
Following a Cabinet reshuffle in January 2004, upon the appointment of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as the prime minister, Muhyiddin was appointed Agriculture Minister.
Two months later, the ministry was renamed the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry.
After the general election last year, he was appointed International Trade and Industry Minister.
Muhyiddin married Puan Sri Norainee Abdul Rahman in 1972. They have four children. - Bernama