Malaysia's Sultan Muhammad V Abdicates, Forcing Royals To Pick A New King

17 2018 shows the 15th king of Malaysia Sultan Muhammad V saluting a royal guard of honour during the opening ceremony of the parliament in Kuala Lumpur.- Malaysia's King Sultan Muhammad V has abdicated a statement from

17 2018 shows the 15th king of Malaysia Sultan Muhammad V saluting a royal guard of honour during the opening ceremony of the parliament in Kuala Lumpur.- Malaysia's King Sultan Muhammad V has abdicated a statement from

Sultan Muhammad V, ruler of northeast Kelantan state, took his oath of office in December 2016, becoming one of Malaysia's youngest constitutional monarchs.

The king abdicated on Sunday after just two years on the throne, the first time a monarch has stepped down before completing their five-year tenure.

It did not give a reason for his resignation but said it would take effect immediately.

No Malaysian monarch has stepped away from the throne since the country gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1957.

His resignation also comes barely days after he returned from a two-month medical leave and months after he reportedly married 25-year-old Russian beauty queen Oksana Voevodina.

The reports featured pictures of the supposed wedding, which were said to have taken place on Nov 22 in a concert hall in the upscale Moscow suburb of Barvikha.

A special meeting of the rulers was held at the palace in Kuala Lumpur to set a date for a new king to be elected, official news agency Bernama reported.




Next in line is Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang, but he is said to be ailing and his son has been Regent for two years.

Although the functions of the king are largely ceremonial, he also serves to safeguard Islam in Muslim-majority Malaysia, and must assent to the appointment of individuals for various senior government roles including that of prime minister.

As revelers rang in the new year, rumors that Sultan Muhammad V would be leaving his post began to circulate online, and even well-known political commentators seemed to agree that the end was nigh.

He is the current deputy king and performed Muhammad V's duties after he went on medical leave at the start of November.

Reports then circulated online that he had married a former Miss Moscow in Russian Federation - although royal officials in Malaysia have so far not commented on the rumours.

As recently as Friday, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed denied rumours of an abdication, saying he did not receive letters or any official indication about the possible abdication.

Neither the sultan, the palace nor the government has officially confirmed the wedding. The rulers of nine Malaysian states elect a king from among themselves every five years.

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