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Hishammuddin promoted to help strengthen Malaysia's bilateral ties

The minister with special functions, who will also retain his defence portfolio, becomes 10th minister in the PMO

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Mr Hishammuddin, whose support base in Umno is said to lag Mr Zahid's, the ambitious Mr Khairy as well as one or two others, suggested his appointment not be exploited by parties bent on creating rifts within the leadership.

Kuala Lumpur

MALAYSIA'S Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has been appointed minister with special functions in a move that effectively boosts him to third rank within the establishment.

At the same time, the appointment by Prime Minister Najib Razak helps keep his deputy Zahid

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