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Friday, March 27, 2009

> Muhyiddin is Deputy President

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin convincingly defeated Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib in the race to be deputy president of Umno.

Muhyiddin obtained 1,575 votes and Muhammad, 997.

The strongest critic of Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi, Muhyiddin was the first senior leader to urge the outgoing premier to step down after the disastrous general election last year and his victory will be widely seen as the delegates’ appreciation to the Pagoh MP for making that move.

Muhyiddin was also said to be Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s preferred choice for the post and he had also received the endorsement of another strong critic of Abdullah, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Throughout the intense race, Muhyiddin was said to be trailing behind Datuk Seri Ali Rustam but the Umno disciplinary board’s decision to bar the Malacca chief Minister from contesting gave Muhyiddin the lead in the race.

His victory put paid to the theory that disappointed supporters of Ali would swing to Muhammad and propel him to the No 2 post.

Muhyiddin called on all leaders, whether they had lost or won, to close ranks.

“It is important for us to be united in the face of challenging times. This is a big task ahead … and I do hope that Malaysians will endorse this change and, hopefully, they will be able to assist the leadership to move forward.

“I believe the delegates are very mature and they know that the deputy president is something very significant and important,” he said.

When asked if he would be appointed deputy prime minister, Muhyiddin said “I hope so but I will assist him (Najib) in what ever manner I can.”

Muhammad, meanwhile, put on a brave face.

“In a contest, there are winners and losers. I will help the party in the future in any way I can. I will continue to be more supportive,” he said  - The Malaysian Insider.