Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia

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 15 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.

Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
Timbalan Perdana Menteri Malaysia
تيمبلن ڤردان منتري مليسيا
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Fadillah Yusof
since 3 December 2022
Government of Malaysia
StyleDeputy 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 (1957-08-31)
SalaryRM18,168.15 monthly[1]


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. 

The position has vacant for 16 months since Muhyiddin Yassin was sworn in as prime minister in March 2020 after Perikatan Nasional (PN) was leading ruling coalition until July 2021 after Ismail Sabri Yaakob was appointed to the position. However, he briefly served for 40 days before taking over as prime minister is the shortest-serving officeholder in history.[2]

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 for 13 months before replacing by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Fadillah Yusof, first duo deputy prime minister in Malaysian history.

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 (both who later became Prime Ministers) 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.[3] 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.[4] He later was sacked from his party.[5] 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   Gabungan Parti Sarawak

Portrait Name


Term of office Political party Prime Minister
1 Abdul Razak Hussein
عبدالرزاق حسين
31 August 1957 22 September 1970 13 years, 22 days Alliance Party
Tunku Abdul Rahman
2 Ismail Abdul Rahman
إسماعيل عبدالرحمن
(Died in office)
22 September 1970 2 August 1973 2 years, 314 days Abdul Razak Hussein
3 Hussein Onn
حسين عون
13 August 1973 15 January 1976 2 years, 155 days
Barisan Nasional
4 Mahathir Mohamad
محاضير محمد
(b. 1925)
5 March 1976 16 July 1981 5 years, 133 days Hussein Onn
5 Musa Hitam
موسى هيتم
(b. 1934)
18 July 1981 16 March 1986 4 years, 241 days Mahathir Mohamad
6 Abdul Ghafar Baba
عبدالغفار باب
10 May 1986 15 October 1993 7 years, 158 days
7 Anwar Ibrahim
أنور إبراهيم
(b. 1947)
1 December 1993 2 September 1998 4 years, 275 days
8 Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
عبدﷲ أحمد بدوي
(b. 1939)
8 January 1999 31 October 2003 4 years, 296 days
9 Mohd Najib Abdul Razak
محمد نجيب عبدالرزاق
(b. 1953)
7 January 2004 3 April 2009 5 years, 86 days Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
10 Muhyiddin Yassin
محيي الدين ياسين
(b. 1947)
10 April 2009 29 July 2015 6 years, 110 days Najib Razak
11 Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
أحمد زاهد حميدي
(b. 1953)
29 July 2015 9 May 2018 2 years, 284 days
12 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 Ismail Sabri Yaakob
إسماعيل صبري يعقوب
(b. 1960)
7 July 2021 16 August 2021 40 days Barisan Nasional
Muhyiddin Yassin
14 Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
أحمد زاهد حميدي
(b. 1953)
3 December 2022 Incumbent 58 days Anwar Ibrahim
Fadillah Yusof
فضيلة يوسف
(b. 1962)
3 December 2022 Incumbent Gabungan Parti Sarawak


Fadillah YusofAhmad Zahid HamidiIsmail Sabri YaakobWan Azizah Wan IsmailMuhyiddin YassinNajib RazakAbdullah Ahmad BadawiAnwar IbrahimAbdul Ghafar BabaMusa HitamMahathir MohamadHussein OnnIsmail Abdul RahmanAbdul Razak Hussein

See also


  1. "CPPS Policy Factsheet: Remuneration of Elected Officials in Malaysia" (PDF). Centre for Public Policy Studies. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  2. "Ismail Sabri appointed DPM, Hishammuddin now senior minister". 7 July 2021.
  3. "Tun Ismail bin Datoʿ Abdul Rahman | Malay politician". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  4. "Muhyiddin terima penggugurannya dengan hati terbuka". Utusan Malaysia (in Malay). 28 July 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  5. "UMNO sacks former Malaysian DPM Muhyiddin Yassin and Mukhriz Mahathir". Channel NewsAsia. 24 June 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
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