KUALA LUMPUR, 28 July – Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is the new deputy prime minister as Dato Seri Najib Razak announced today. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has been dropped as Deputy Prime Minister in the latest cabinet reshuffle unveiled by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak this afternoon. Umno vice-president and current home minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has been named as the new number two. Speculation had been rife that Muhyiddin, who is also Umno deputy president, would be axed due to his critical remarks regarding the 1MDB.
Speculation is rife that there might be an announcement of a possible Cabinet reshuffle any time between 1pm and 3pm today. This was sparked by an Utusan Malaysia report this morning, which claimed that a reshuffle was imminent. However, when contacted, a representative from the Prime Minister’s Office told that no such thing was happening. Mariah tweets that the media personnel have not been barred from entering the PMO in Putrajaya.
A press conference in Putrajaya this afternoon, Prime Minister Najib confirmed rumours that Mr Muhyiddin Yassin would be dropped as his deputy. A new appointment to the cabinet is Salleh Said Keruak, who is the current Sabah state assembly speaker. The staunch Najib supporter, who often defends the prime minister on his blog, is the new communication and multimedia minister. He replaces Ahmad Shabery Cheek who would now oversee the agriculture and agro-based industry portfolio. Najib was flanked by Zahid when the new cabinet announcement was made at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya.
I can accept difference of opinion and criticism but as Cabinet members, we should not air this in public forums, he added. Muhyiddin has been critical of the prime minister’s handling of debt-ridden state investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). Muhyiddin was widely expected to be dropped after he renewed his criticism of 1MDB at the Cheras Umno division annual meeting on Sunday.