Malaysia elects new king after unprecedented abdication of former ruler

Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah is the new king

Photo: EPA Sultan Abdullah ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah inside Malaysian National Palace in Kuala Lumpur.

Sultan Abdullah ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah, the ruler of the Malaysia state of Pahang, was named the country's new king Thursday following the unprecedented abdication of Sultan Muhammad V earlier this month. The 59-year-old Sultan Abdullah was elected to a five year term by the leaders of Malaysia's royal houses, known as the Conference of Rulers under a system of rotational monarchy that is unique to the country.

Sultan Abdullah is now expected to be sworn in as the nation's 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or head of state, in a ceremony on January 31.

As Europost reminds, the previous ruler - the 49-year-old Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan - resigned as Malaysia's 15th king two months ago, marking the first abdication in the nation's history and cutting short his five-year term. The royal palace and the king himself declined to offer an explanation for why he stepped down after serving only two years. It has also refused to comment on a widespread rumor that the ruler's departure was tied to his marriage to a former beauty queen in Russia during a recent medical leave.

Similar articles