KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will be named as the country’s Deputy Prime Minister today.
An official statement on his appointment will be issued after the Cabinet meeting.
According to Government sources, the Defence Minister received his letter of appointment from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday at about 5pm.
The city here was abuzz with reports about his appointment as the ninth Deputy Prime Minister just after 7pm.
It is learnt that Abdullah had called Najib to the Prime Minister’s Department at Kompleks Perdana in Putrajaya just before the Prime Minister was to meet Thai Foreign Minister Dr Surakiart Sathirathai.
COOL RESPONSE:Najib talking to reporters at his house at 1.10am on the news that he has been appointed as the Deputy Prime Minister.With him is his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.—STARpic By KAMAL SELLEHUDDIN
Reporters waiting for a press conference by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar were surprised to see Najib at the PM’s office.
Aides later confirmed that Najib was not there to attend the meeting with the Thai minister.
However, when approached by reporters Najib instead gave them a report about Malaysia and Thailand forming joint-patrols following the upsurge of violence at southern Thai border towns.
Later when met at his house at 1.10am as he returned from a farewell dinner for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Najib declined to be drawn into making any comments or confirmation.
“I cannot make any statement. This is a prerogative of the Prime Minister,” he said to the handful of journalists and photographers who had been waiting at his residence in Taman Duta here.
“Why don't we just wait for tomorrow (today). I am not going to make any statement,” he said.
Asked of his feelings, Najib laughed, saying that doing that would be confirming the news.
When told that TV stations and news agencies had announced his appointment, Najib said: “They can always quote and they can always deny later. Whatever it is, it did not come from me or from my office.”
Najib, 51, has scored a string of the “youngest” titles throughout his 27-year political career.
He was elected as MP at the age of 23 in 1976. Two years later, he was made a deputy minister (Energy, Telecom and Post) – the youngest ever.
In 1981, he became the youngest Umno Supreme Council member and a year on, the youngest chief minister when he became Mentri Besar of Pahang.
At the age of 32, he was made Culture, Youth and Sports Minister, again, the youngest Cabinet member back in those days.
As the eldest son of Malaysia’s second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and the nephew of the third Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn, Najib is often cited for his political blueblood origin.
Born in Kuala Lipis, Pahang, in 1953, Najib received his early education in the elite St John Institution here.
As a teenager, he was sent to England to attend Malven Boy’s College in Worchestershire and he remained in the country to pursue economic studies at the University of Nottingham.
Upon returning to Malaysia at the age of 21, he worked as an executive at Petronas but he was destined to become a politician when two years later he won the Pekan by-election uncontested to fill the seat that fell vacant following his father’s death.
In Umno, he started with the Youth wing and rose to the chairmanship before emerging as one of the top leaders by winning the vice-president's post in 1993.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
Date of Birth: 23 July 1953
Place of Birth: Kuala Lipis, Pahang
Name of wife: Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor
Number of Children: 5
Primary - St John Institution, Kuala Lumpur
Secondary - St John Institution, Kuala Lumpur
- Malven Boy's College, Worchestershire, England
University - University of Nottingham, England
Academic qualification: B.A. Hons. Economic (1974)
1974 - 1976 Executive Petronas
1977 - 1979 Chairman of Majuternak
1976 - 1982 MP of Pekan, Pahang
1978 - 1980 Deputy Energy, Telecom and Post Minister
1980 - 1981 Deputy Education Minister
1981 - 1982 Deputy Finance Minister
1982 - 1986 State assemblyman of Bandar Pekan, Pahang
1982 - 1986 Pahang Chief Minister
1982 - 1986 Pahang Development Board chairman
1982 - 1986 Yang-di Pertua Kuantan Municipal Council
1982 -1986 Amanah Saham Pahang chairman
1982 -1986 Yayasan Pahang chairman
1986 - now MP of Pekan, Pahang
1986 - 1988 Culture, Youth and Sports Minister
1988 - 1990 Youth and Sports Minister
1990 - 1995 Defence Minister
1995 - 1999 Education Minister
1999 - now Defence Minister
1976 - 1982 Pahang Umno Youth's economy and finance bureau chairman
1976 - 1980 Pekan Umno Youth chief
1976 - 1982 National Umno Youth exco
1980 - 1982 Pekan Umno division deputy chief
1981 - 1987 Umno Supreme Council member
1982 - 1987 Umno Youth deputy chief
1982 - 1983 Pahang Umno liaison committee deputy chairman
1982 - 1988 Pekan Umno division chief
1983 - 1987 Pahang Umno liaison committee chairman
1986 - 1988 Umno Youth's Sports and Economy Bureau chief
1987 - 1988 Umno Youth acting chief
1988 - 1989 Umno pro-tem committee member
1988 - now Pekan Umno division chief
1988 - 1993 Umno Youth chief
1993 - now Umno vice president
Parent site: "Focus on Malaysia"