By Abdullah Bugis KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 (KUNA) -- Minister of International Trade and Industry Muhyiddin Yassin was elected the new Umno deputy president on Friday when he beat Minister of Rural and Regional Development Muhammad Muhammad Taib in the party elections.
The Umno heads the ruling coalition, and Yasin will be taking over the position of Najib Abdul Razak, who will become the prime minister early next month.
"He (Yasin) obtained 1,575 votes," announced permanent chairman Tan Sri Onn Ismail, according to the state-run news agency, Bernama.
The contest for the Umno deputy presidency was to be a three-cornered fight but the third candidate, Muhammad Ali Rustam, was barred from contesting when three of his agents were found to have indulged in money politics by the Umno Disciplinary Board.
Muhyiddin, 62, was an Umno vice president in the previous party line-up.
In a press statement, Yasin reiterated his allegiance to the Umno, and lauded the efforts of the party to serve the interests of all Malaysians.
He said that he would be the right arm of the next Malaysian prime minister.
Meanwhile, Minister in the Department of the Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Education Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, and Minister of Culture Muhammad Shafie Apdal won the posts of the Umno president's deputies.
Hamidi told KUNA that these elections brought a change of 50 percent in the party, noting that the governmental responsibilities were now greater than before.
Everyone in the party and the government seek to develop the party and regain the confidence of the people.
On his part, the culture minister, in a statement to KUNA, underscored the importance of reforming and renewing the spirit of the party through its elected leaders. (end) aab.ema KUNA 270913 Mar 09NNNN