PUTRAJAYA - Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has been appointed Deputy Prime Minister in a major Cabinet reshuffle which saw Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin dropped from his positions as the country's No. 2 as well as Education Minister.
The reshuffle was announced by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday following weeks of talk of a revamp. It came two days after Muhyiddin openly criticised the Government's handling of 1MDB and other issues at a Cheras Umno meeting.
Others dropped as ministers were Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, Datuk Seri Hasan Malek, Datuk Seri G. Palanivel and Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin.
The reshuffle saw several politicians seen as staunch loyalists of the Prime Minister either appointed or promoted to full ministers.
They are Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin, the new Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister; Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, who is now Education Minister; and Datuk Seri Salleh Said, who was made Communications and Multimedia Minister.
Hamzah was previously Deputy Foreign Minister while Mahdzir was Deputy Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister. Salleh was Sabah assembly speaker.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar was made a full minister and heads the Natural Resources and Environmental Ministry.
Two former ministers - Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said and Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan - are also back in the Cabinet.
Azalina is Minister in the Prime Minister's Department while Ong was appointed International Trade and Industry Minister (II), a newly created post.
Nine new faces were appointed deputy ministers.
They are Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, Datuk Johari Baharum, Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, Masir Kujat, Chong Sin Woon, Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakob and Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani.
Nur Jazlan was Public Accounts Committee chairman while Chong is MCA Youth chief.