Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Malaysia’s king abdicates: palace statement

Malaysia’s king abdicates: palace statement

In a statement, the palace said simply: 'The National Palace informs that his majesty has resigned as the 15th king effective January 6'.

Malaysian King Sultan Muhammad V abdicated in an unexpected and rare move, just after two years on the throne.

The selection of the Agong is done by the Majlis Raja-raja, also known as the Conference of Rulers consisting the nine rulers of the Malay states. She reportedly met the Malaysian king while he was traveling in Europe in 2017 and she was modeling luxury watches.

Images purporting to show the king getting married in Russian Federation appeared on social media in December.

Sultan Muhammad V studied at St Cross College at Oxford and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. Muhammad seemed quite healthy and vigorous otherwise, with a penchant for extreme sports such as off-road driving, horse riding, football, and endurance challenges.

No Malaysian monarch has stepped away from the throne since the country gained independence from the United Kingdom more than 60 years ago.

Malaysians expressed surprise and distress over the abdication on social media.

The next king in line is the Sultan of Pahang, but the 88-year-old's ailing health has raised questions of who should rightly succeed.

Sultan Nazrin, who is the Deputy Agong, will serve as acting King in the interim.

The king's role is largely ceremonial, as most of the authority to govern is held by the prime minister and cabinet.

The king had officially notified the Malay Rulers on his abdication through a letter sent to the Secretary of the Conference of Rulers, said the comptroller of the royal household in a statement.

The rotating monarchy system has been in place since independence from Britain in 1957, and Sultan Muhammad V is the first monarch to have renounced the throne.

Other political figures thanked the King for his service. He also paid tribute to Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the government for their cooperation in governing the country.

However, the Agong does not have the power to dismiss a prime minister.

And the monarch is the custodian of Islam in the Muslim-majority country. The Agong consented to the appointment after two weeks of the stand-off.

But such a marriage is unlikely to sit well with the country´s conservative royal households.

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