Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Sultan Muhammad V steps down as Malaysia's king

Sultan Muhammad V steps down as Malaysia's king

The king stepped aside Sunday following intense speculation about his future after reports surfaced in recent weeks that he had taken medical leave, and then Wednesday the former Miss Moscow.

The king abdicated on Sunday, making him the country's first ever monarch to do so.

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

Following the meeting, the Keeper of the Rulers' Seal Syed Danial Syed Ahmad announced that the special meeting will be held on Jan 24, Bernama reported.

Speculation that Sultan Muhammad V would step down emerged last week, shortly after he returned from a two-month leave, but Mahathir had said Friday that he was unaware of any abdication plans.

A new monarch will now be elected by the Council of Rulers, according to the Straits Times.

Palace officials confirmed yesterday that Sultan Muhammad V, the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, has abdicated with immediate effect.

Royal officials in Malaysia have not so far commented on the reported marriage.

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"His Majesty has prepared to return to Kelantan Darul Naim to be with the state government and especially the people of Kelantan to safeguard and develop Kelantan for the betterment of you the public", the Istana Negara said.

It added that the king is ready to resume working on the development of the state of Kelantan, where he is Sultan.

Heads of six of the nine households met on Monday at the national palace to decide a date for the election of a new king.

"His Highness has worked towards fulfilling his responsibilities entrusted to him as the head of state, serving as a pillar of stability, source of justice, the core of unity ... for the people", the palace statement said.

"The Rulers have chose to hold a special Council of Rulers meeting on Thursday, 24th January 2019 for the goal of electing the Yang di-Pertuan Agong XVI (16) and the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong".

He also expressed his appreciation to the Prime Minister and the government for their cooperation in governing the country.

"As the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, His Majesty is very proud with the sacrifices and loyalty that has been shown to His Majesty and the country all this while", said Mr Wan Ahmad.

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