It has been announced by Pahang Chief Minister Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail that the former King of Malaysia, Sultan Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah died on Wednesday morning in the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur at 8.50 am. He was 88-years-old.
The Chief Minister said on Facebook, “With profound grief and sadness, I hereby announce the death of Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Ayahanda Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah Almarhum Sultan Abu Bakar Ri’ayatuddin Al Muadzam Shah in the morning of Wednesday, May 22, which is also the 17th day of Ramadan 1440 Hijrah.”
He also requested prayers for the former King and his family. Today has been declared a public holiday in Pahang.
Sultan Ahmad Shah, who was born on 24 October 1930, had been in bad health for a while and had abdicated as the Sultan of Pahang on 15 January. His son had served as regent for several years due to his health.
Ahmad Shah’s remains were transferred to Pahang after a ritual wash that took place in Kuala Lumpur’s former royal palace and current royal museum, Istana Negara. The burial is expected to have taken place shortly after arriving in Pahang according to Islamic tradition of burying the dead as soon as possible after their passing – usually within 24 hours.
Sultan Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah, who served as the seventh King of Malaysia, was the father of Malaysia’s current monarch, Abdullah who ascended the throne on 31 January 2019 after the shocking abdication of King Sultan Muhammad V, 49, who resigned earlier in January, after only two years on the throne.
Sultan Ahmad Shah was King from 26 April 1979 – 25 April 1984 and served as Sultan of Pahang from 8 May to 15 January 2019.
Malaysian monarchs, who serve as head of state, are elected for terms from the nine royal households in the country. The ruler is chosen through a vote in a Council of Rulers made up of members of the nine royal houses.
Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy and plays a largely ceremonial role. In the country, the King is considered the guardian of Islam.