PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is now Deputy Prime Minister, bringing an end to all speculation on who will be appointed to the Number Two post in the Perikatan Nasional-led government.
With the appointment, Ismail Sabri will assist Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in managing and administering the country, meeting the needs of the people and looking into their well-being at a time when the country is facing health and economic crises, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a media statement yesterday.
Ismail Sabri will also remain in his current portfolio as Defence Minister.
The Deputy Prime Minister’s post has been vacant since Perikatan took over the administration in March last year.
Traditionally, Malaysia has always had a Deputy Prime Minister but Perikatan had done away with the post and had instead appointed four senior ministers to coordinate ministerial portfolios, including current portfolio as Defence Minister Ismail Sabri.
The other three are Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof and Datuk Dr Mohd Radzi Jidin.
The PMO also announced the appointment of Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein as Senior Minister who will be leading the security cluster which was previously helmed by Ismail Sabri.
“The Prime Minister has also agreed for Datuk Seri Hishammuddin to assist him in implementing the National Recovery Plan,” said the statement.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong has been informed of their appointments, which take effect immediately.
“It is hoped that the appointments will further boost the Perikatan government’s ability, particularly in facing the Covid-19 pandemic and to strengthen unity among parties that form the government.
“It is also hoped that the appointments will strengthen Perikatan’s administration through good and transparent governance, free of corruption and an administration that is of high integrity,” the statement read.