The 34-year-old son of a former prime minister is being tipped as a future leader, following his rapid rise within the Government in just two years. The appointment of Hishamuddin Tun Hussein as Deputy Primary Industries Minister at the weekend has underlined his high standing with the Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Dr Mahathir succeeded Mr Hishamuddin's father, Tun Hussein Onn, Malaysia's third prime minister, when he retired in 1981. A Malaysian political analyst said that while Dr Mahathir, who served under the late Tun Hussein as deputy prime minister, probably felt a responsibility to 'look after' Mr Hishamuddin, the new deputy minister had demonstrated his capability for such a position. Other senior figures in the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the dominant government party, have remarked on the leadership potential of the self-effacing but politically perceptive lawyer. Following his election to Parliament in 1995, Mr Hishamuddin was appointed Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. Last year, he ran for the post of deputy chief of UNMO's youth wing and won comfortably. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who was electedhead of UMNO Youth at the same time, has yet to be given a government job, prompting a commentator to compare his 'seemingly stagnant career' with the 'meteoric rise' of Mr Hishamuddin. 'By convention, a person elected UMNO Youth chief would be appointed to an important executive position,' the commentator said in an article in The Star newspaper. Mr Zahid is associated with the Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, who is first in line to succeed Dr Mahathir. Although the Prime Minister has said Mr Anwar will be the next head of government, he has set no time-frame for stepping down.