Malaysian royals to vote for a new king after surprise resignation
08 January, 2019, 00:32 | Author: Donnie King
The rulers of nine Malaysian states elect a king from among themselves every five years.
Speculation intensified about the king's future this week when the country's Islamic royals reportedly held a special meeting.
Sultan Nazrin Shah has been named as acting Agong pending the appointment of a new Agong following the abdication of Sultan Muhammad V as the 15th Agong.
If he had remained on the throne, the 49-year-old monarch would have served only three more years, because Malaysia has a unique "rotational monarchy" in which the ceremonial royal office is passed between nine sultans.
Malaysia's Conference of Rulers will convene on January 24 to choose a successor, who will be inaugurated on January 31, state news agency Bernamareported.
According to the New Straits Times, His Royal Highness Sultan Muhammad V will return to Kelantan to be with the state government following his resignation.
The system has been in place since independence from Britain in 1957.
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".
Media has also reported some tension between the palace and the government of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad since the veteran leader returned to power a year ago.
The Conference of Rulers must meet to elect a new king no later than four weeks once the position of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong falls vacant.
"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.
Officially, the King said he was on medical leave.
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