Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has appointed Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the Deputy Prime Minister, the government said on Wednesday.

The appointment is to help Muhyiddin manage the administration of the country and deal with the current health and economic crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

Additionally, Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has been appointed as a senior minister and will take over the management of the country’s security issue from Sabri, Xinhua news agency reported citing the statement as saying.

Both appointments have been presented to King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and are effective immediately, it added.

Muhyiddin assumed office in March last year following the abrupt resignation of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who had been in office since the general elections in 2018.

Muhyiddin had not appointed any deputy at that time, instead of having picked four ministers, including Sabri, as senior ministers to help him manage the country.

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