Malaysia’s king has abdicated, royal officers stated on Sunday, in a historic first for the nation that ended weeks of hypothesis about his future after he took medical go away.
Sultan Muhammad V’s determination marks the primary time a king has abdicated within the Muslim-majority nation because it gained independence from Britain in 1957.
It got here after the king took go away initially of November for 2 months, throughout which era unconfirmed studies circulated that he had married a Russian former magnificence queen.
An announcement from the nationwide palace confirmed the resignation of the comparatively youthful monarch, recognized for his fondness for four-wheel driving and different excessive sports activities.
“His Majesty tells the folks of Malaysia to proceed to be united to take care of unity, tolerance, and work collectively,” stated the assertion, signed by the Comptroller of the Royal Family, Wan Ahmad Dahlan Abdul Aziz.
It gave no purpose for the 49-year-old’s transfer.
However there had been a query mark over the reign of the king, who ascended to the throne in December 2016, since he took a go away of absence for medical remedy in November.
Studies then circulated on-line that he had married a former Miss Moscow in Russia.
Royal officers in Malaysia have up to now not commented on the rumored marriage, or given any particulars about his well being situation.
Whereas their function is ceremonial, Malaysia’s Islamic royalty command nice respect, particularly from Muslim Malays, and criticizing them is strictly forbidden.
Hypothesis intensified concerning the king’s future this week when the nation’s Islamic royals reportedly held a particular assembly.
Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, with a singular association the place the throne modifications palms each 5 years between rulers of the 9 Malaysian states headed by centuries-old Islamic royalty.
The rotating monarchy system has been in place since independence from Britain in 1957, and Sultan Muhammad V is the primary monarch to have renounced the throne.
Sultan Muhammad V studied at St Cross School at Oxford and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Research, in line with official media.
He’s recognized for a relaxed public persona, participating in walkathons to advertise well being, and has been photographed carrying a baseball cap backward.
Portraits of the king and queen adorn authorities buildings all through the nation. The king can also be the symbolic head of Islam within the nation, in addition to the nominal chief of the army.
Malaysia’s sultans hint a lineage again to Malay sultanates of the 15th century. The king is known as Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or “He Who Is Made Lord”.