Malaysia installs new king six months after surprise abdication
July 30 2019 12:02 PM
Malaysia's new king, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, poses for a photograph
Malaysia's new king, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, poses for a photograph

Dpa/Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia on Tuesday installed Sultan Abdullah as the country's 16th king, six months after the surprise abdication of his predecessor.

The 60-year-old ruler of the state of Pahang was crowned as king for the next five years in a ceremony at the National Palace that was steeped in royal tradition.

Malaysia's kings are elected by the rulers of the country's nine states, who take turns in serving five-year terms.

The king wore a black baju kurung - a traditional Malay outfit - intricately woven with gold thread, along with a tengkolok, the traditional headgear worn by Malay males. His outfit was accessorized with a keris, a Malay dagger.

The ceremony, held in the palace's throne room, was attended by members of Malaysia's nine royal houses dressed in their full regalia, and local political leaders including Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Foreign royals, including the Sultan of Brunei and Crown Prince of UAE, were also present.

Sultan Abdullah was elected king in January after Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan abdicated just two years into his reign.

No official reason was given by the palace for the king's sudden departure, however speculation was rife that his marriage to a Russian ex-beauty queen had raised concerns that a foreigner might be inaugurated as queen.

The king's powers are largely ceremonial, as most of the administrative power is vested in the prime minister and cabinet.

However, the king is seen as the upholder of Malay and Muslim values, especially amongst the Malay-Muslim population which makes up a two-thirds majority.



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