A new king has been elected in Malaysia after the shocking abdication of King Sultan Muhammad V, 49, who resigned earlier this month, after only two years on the throne.
This was the first time a Malaysian monarch abdicated instead of completing his five year tenure on the throne. The King did not provide a reason for his resignation, but it came after his reported marriage to a Russian beauty queen in November of 2018. Royal officials have never commented on the rumoured marriage.
The royal families of Malaysia have selected Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah as the new monarch, in a widely expected move. He is the ruler of the central state of Pahang and will take over duties of the monarch at the end of January.
Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, 59, is the son of the seventh King of Malaysia, 88; he will be sworn in on 31 January as the 16th Yang Di Pertuan Agong of Malaysia. He only just became the Sultan of Pahang on 15 January, succeeding his father. However, he had been regent for his father over the past two years due to the latter’s health.
Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was born on 30 July 1959 as the fourth child of Ahmad Shah (later the seventh Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia) and the late Tengku Ampuan Afzan. He has two wives and ten children – one of whom was an adopted son. Sadly, his first child, a son, Ahmad Iskandar Shah died when he was less than a day old.
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, he is considered the guardian of Islam.