Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Malaysia's king abdicates in historic first

Malaysia's king abdicates in historic first

But there had been a question mark over the reign of the King since he took a leave of absence for medical treatment in November previous year.

Malaysia's King Sultan Muhammad V has unexpectedly stepped down from the throne.

The palace said in a statement that the 49-year-old ruler had resigned as Malaysia's 15th king with immediate effect, cutting short his five-year term. Muhammad V has abdicated in an unexpected and rare move, just after two years on the throne.

Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, where each of the country's nine sultans take turns acting as nation leaders on a five-year rotating basis.

"The National Palace informs that his majesty has resigned as the 15th king effective January 6", said a statement from the palace, without giving a reason for the abdication.

Comptroller of the Royal Household, Datuk Wan Ahmad Dahlan Abdul Aziz said that His Majesty had officially notified the Malay Rulers on his abdication through a letter sent to the Secretary of the Conference of Rulers.

Malaysia is the only country in the world to have a rotational monarchy, in place since the country became independent in 1957.

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Images purporting to show him getting married in Russian Federation appeared on social media in December and identified his new wife as a model and former Miss Moscow, Oksana Voevodina.

According to a report from official news agency Bernama at the time of his enthronement, he "fills his free time by reading and has an interest in extreme sports such as four-wheel drive expeditions and endurance challenges and shooting". Kelantan is a rural state in eastern Malaysian.

The national palace confirmed his resignation but gave no detail on why he was stepping down.

The New Straits Times reported there had been tensions between the palace and the government of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who led the opposition to an election win in May.

This article, Malaysian king abdicates after week of intense speculation, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

Following the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's resignation, netizens have been asking who his successor will be.

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