Reports: Azmin Ali Is Likely To Be Appointed As Deputy Prime Minister
Former senior minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali is said to be in the front-running for the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) under Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob's administration
Citing sources, Free Malaysia Today reported that Azmin is believed to have more support in Bersatu than the party's secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin.
This is because the former PKR defector brought 10 members of Parliament (MPs) with him when he officially joined Bersatu in August 2020.
The news portal learnt that talks between UMNO and Bersatu leaders were held yesterday, 23 August, and "all fingers point to Azmin as the deputy prime minister".
"After listening to all parties, Prime Minister (PM) Ismail Sabri Yaakob is said to be agreeable to the decision," the source said.
"As of now, Azmin's name is still the one picked for future deputy prime minister."
Meanwhile, sources also claimed that the PM will not have any say in who will become his deputy
A source who spoke to The Star revealed that the person who will become the next DPM is the Bersatu member whom Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin believes has the most support within the party.
The unnamed source said the main contenders for the DPM post have been narrowed down to either Hamzah or Azmin. The Bersatu Supreme Council has handed over the final say to Muhyiddin.
"Contrary to convention, this time round, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob would not have any say in who will be his Deputy Prime Minister," the source told the daily.
"Yes, it is the Prime Minister's prerogative but it was agreed in the deal with Perikatan Nasional's 51 MPs that should they support Ismail, the DPM post will be Bersatu's."
"Bersatu will have [the] complete say of who it will be."
Sources speaking to Malaysiakini — who consist of three UMNO Supreme Council members — claimed that Azmin is set to clinch the post.
Two of the sources — who are in opposite UMNO factions — claimed that Azmin's DPM appointment in Ismail's administration is to avoid defections.
Ismail was sworn in as Malaysia's ninth PM on 21 August following a week of political uncertainties
114 MPs are said to have named the Bera MP as their PM candidate, which ultimately convinced the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that he commands the majority in the Parliament.
Should Azmin and his 10 supporters withdraw their support from Ismail, that would cause UMNO to lose its hold on the federal power.
The PM needs the support of at least 111 MPs to form a majority.
Two sources told Malaysiakini that Azmin had threatened to withdraw support for Ismail if he was not given the post.
On 22 August, Selangau MP Baru Bian — a Bersatu member not aligned with Azmin — said in a Facebook post that it was not him who revealed Azmin's faction had made the threat.