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Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia

Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
Timbalan Perdana Menteri Malaysia
تيمبلن ڤردان منتري مليسيا
Coat of arms of Malaysia.svg

since 16 August 2021
Government of Malaysia
StyleMr Deputy Prime Minister
Yang Amat Berhormat
The Right Honourable
(within the Commonwealth)
His Excellency
Member of
Reports toParliament
ResidenceSri Satria, Putrajaya
SeatPerdana Putra, Putrajaya
NominatorPrime Minister
AppointerYang di-Pertuan Agong
Term lengthAt the Prime Minister's pleasure
Inaugural holderAbdul Razak Hussein
Formation31 August 1957; 65 years ago (1957-08-31)
SalaryRM18,168.15 monthly

The Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia (Malay: Timbalan Perdana Menteri Malaysia; Jawi: تيمبلن ڤردان منتري مليسيا) is the second highest political office in Malaysia. There have been 13 officeholders since the office was created in 1957. The first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, started the convention of appointing a deputy prime minister, but some cabinets have opted not to appoint a deputy prime minister.

The latest and former deputy prime minister is Ismail Sabri Yaakob who served from July to August 2021 for only 40 days before taking over as prime minister. He is the shortest-serving deputy prime minister in history.


Malaysia has always had a deputy prime minister for most of the time since independence. A prime minister may choose not to appoint a deputy prime minister. The office of deputy prime minister is not provided for in the constitution of Malaysia. At the same time, a prime minister could appoint more than one deputy prime minister, as has occurred before in Singapore.

From August 1957 to May 2018, when the coalition government Barisan Nasional (BN), of which the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) was the main component party, was the only ruling coalition, and by practice, the UMNO deputy president was usually appointed the deputy prime minister by the prime minister, who was the UMNO president. In the organisational structure of BN, the president and deputy president of UMNO were automatically made the chairman and deputy chairman of BN.

From May 2018 to February 2020, when Pakatan Harapan (PH), a political coalition of four parties, was the only ruling coalition, the holder of the position of deputy prime minister was decided upon by the presidential council of PH. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who was the first female holder of office, was the post holder. 

Perikatan Nasional (PN) was the leading ruling coalition from March 2020 to August 2021, when it held the post of prime minister with Muhyiddin Yassin as the chairman. The holder of the position has always been vacant since Muhyiddin was sworn in as prime minister in March 2020. It was only in July 2021 that the office of the deputy prime minister was held by an incumbent when Ismail Sabri Yaakob was appointed. However, he briefly served for 40 days.

Since August 2021, when BN is again the leading ruling coalition, there have again been no holders of the office of the deputy prime minister so far, the second time in history after the period between March 2020 to July 2021 when PN was the leading ruling coalition.

Deaths, resignations and removals from office

Of the thirteen previous officeholders, seven have stepped up to become Prime Ministers. Of the remaining, one died in office, two resigned, two were removed from office (including one who later became Prime Minister) by the sitting Prime Minister, and two disqualified from office due to defeat in the 2018 general election and collapse of the federal administration in 2020 political crisis.

Ismail Abdul Rahman died in office due to massive heart attack in 1973. Musa Hitam resigned from second Mahathir cabinet over differences with Prime Minister over government policy in 1986. Ghafar Baba resigned from his portfolio following UMNO grassroots lost confidence in his leadership and his position as Deputy President of UMNO was challenged by Anwar Ibrahim in the UMNO's top leadership election. Anwar Ibrahim was the first deputy prime minister to be sacked after being accused and subsequently charged with corruption and sodomy in 1998. Muhyiddin Yassin was the second DPM to be removed from office after being dropped from the Cabinet by former Prime Minister Najib Razak in a reshuffle in 2015. He later was sacked from his party. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was disqualified from office after the seventh Mahathir cabinet was dissolved due to its fall from the federal administration in 2020.

List of deputy prime ministers of Malaysia

Colour key (for political parties):
 Alliance Party  Barisan Nasional  Pakatan Harapan

Portrait Name


Term of office Political party Prime Minister
1 Tun Abdul Razak (MY 2nd PM).jpg Abdul Razak Hussein
عبدالرزاق حسين
31 August 1957 22 September 1970 13 years, 22 days Alliance Party
Tunku Abdul Rahman
2 Tun Dr. Ismail.jpg Ismail Abdul Rahman
إسماعيل عبدالرحمن
(Died in office)
22 September 1970 2 August 1973 2 years, 314 days Abdul Razak Hussein
3 Tun Hussein Onn (MY 3rd PM).jpg Hussein Onn
حسين عون
13 August 1973 15 January 1976 2 years, 155 days
Barisan Nasional
4 Mahathir 1984 cropped.jpg Mahathir Mohamad
محاضر محمد
(b. 1925)
5 March 1976 16 July 1981 5 years, 133 days Hussein Onn
5 Musa-hitam.jpg Musa Hitam
موسى هيتم‎
(b. 1934)
18 July 1981 16 March 1986 4 years, 241 days Mahathir Mohamad
6 Tun Ghafar bin Baba 10 okt 1987 (cropped).jpg Abdul Ghafar Baba
عبدالغفار بابا
10 May 1986 15 October 1993 7 years, 158 days
7 Anwar 980416.jpg Anwar Ibrahim
أنور إبراهيم‎
(b. 1947)
1 December 1993 2 September 1998 4 years, 275 days
8 The Prime Minister of Malaysia Mr. Dato Seri Abdullah Haji Ahmed (cropped).jpg Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
عبدﷲ أحمد بدوي
(b. 1939)
8 January 1999 31 October 2003 4 years, 296 days
9 NJBB (cropped).jpg Mohd Najib Abdul Razak
محمد نجيب عبدالرزاق
(b. 1953)
7 January 2004 3 April 2009 5 years, 86 days Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
10 MuhyiddinUS.jpg Muhyiddin Yassin
محي الدين ياسين
(b. 1947)
10 April 2009 29 July 2015 6 years, 110 days Mohd Najib Abdul Razak
11 Deputy Prime Minister Hamidi - 2017 (36294565072) (cropped).jpg Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
أحمد زاهد حميدي
(b. 1953)
29 July 2015 9 May 2018 2 years, 284 days
12 Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, 2019.jpg Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
وان عزيزة وان إسماعيل‎
(b. 1952)
21 May 2018 24 February 2020 1 year, 279 days Pakatan Harapan
Mahathir Mohamad
13 DSISY in November 2021.png Ismail Sabri Yaakob
إسماعيل صبري يعقوب‎
(b. 1960)
7 July 2021 16 August 2021 40 days Barisan Nasional
Muhyiddin Yassin


Ismail Sabri YaakobWan Azizah Wan IsmailAhmad Zahid HamidiMuhyiddin YassinNajib RazakAbdullah Ahmad BadawiAnwar IbrahimAbdul Ghafar BabaMusa HitamMahathir MohamadHussein OnnIsmail Abdul RahmanAbdul Razak Hussein

Living deputy prime ministers

See also

This page was last updated at 2022-11-12 02:38 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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