COMMENT | A few months ago, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein met several times to discuss succession planning.
It was subsequently decided and agreed that Zahid would be the successor to Najib with Hishammuddin as the new deputy.
As Umno's election tradition has it, the person who garners the highest votes as vice-president will be in line to move up to deputy president.
Najib recalled yesterday, "I had been discussing the (special functions minister’s position) with Zahid for months. And then, it was Zahid who suggested that Hishammuddin be awarded the post.
"So please, do not create any friction between them."
His caution came after speculations that there was a rift between Najib and Zahid.
The sidelining of Zahid, the Najib-Zahid rift and the idea that Hishammuddin may overtake Zahid in the leadership hierarchy was more or less put to rest in Najib’s speech...