Published: Sun, January 06, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Malaysia's King Muhammad V Abdicates the Throne

Malaysia's King Muhammad V Abdicates the Throne

Sultan Muhammad V, ruler of northeast Kelantan state, was installed in December 2016 as one of Malaysia's youngest constitutional monarchs.

Malaysia has nine royal households, who typically take turns to sit on the throne, and the selection of the next king is decided by a vote in the Council of Rulers, made up of all nine royal households. He was due to return to his duties earlier this week but instead issued a statement on Sunday announcing that he is abdicating the throne that he has held for only two years.

Malaysian King Sultan Muhammad V has abdicated after just two years on the throne.

The palace did not give any reason for the 49-year-old royal's move.

And the monarch thanked the prime minister and government for their cooperation during his rule. "During his tenure, His Majesty worked to fulfill his responsibilities and the trust placed in him as the head of state, serving as the pillar of stability, the source of justice and as an umbrella of the solidarity and unity of the people", said Dahlan.

He is said to have married a 25-year-old former Russian beauty queen in November.

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The reports in Russian and British media and on social media featured pictures of the wedding, which reportedly took place in Moscow. However, the king's assent is needed before the appointment of a prime minister or senior public officials.

Muhammad V was previously married to a member of another Malay royal family in 2004 but the couple divorced in 2008.

"His Majesty hopes that all Malaysians will continue to stay united, tolerant and in agreement in shouldering the responsibility to safeguard the country's sovereignty so that Malaysia will remain in peace and harmony", he said.

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The dramatic development - for which the palace offered no official reason - is likely to shock citizens who largely revere the country's hereditary rulers and are unused to modern-day upheavals in the monarchy.

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