The appointment of Zahid Hamidi as Deputy Prime Minister was made in consideration of his position in the party hierarchy, said Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan.
He added that the appointment was aimed at stabilising the unity government, formed after no party won a simple majority of 112 seats in Parliament, and not based on political interests.
“There has never been a Cabinet that had not been criticised. How often do we see something that is perfect? There must be disagreements here and there.
“If we give it to someone other than the president, then the stability is somewhat in question. Firstly, the strength of Umno and, secondly, the unity government itself.
“That is why we want stability and the party hierarchy is the right thing to follow now,” Datuk Seri Ahmad said on Saturday.
On the same day, Zahid and 26 other Cabinet members took their oath of office before Malaysia’s king, Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah, at Istana Negara.
The Barisan Nasional chairman also holds the post of Rural and Regional Development Minister.
Asked if the party accepts the Cabinet’s composition, Ahmad said there was positive feedback from the party’s rank and file.
“We are aware that we have only 30 seats and six representatives (as ministers), even though we had demanded more.
“We are waiting for the list of deputy ministers,” he added.