BANGKOK – The king of Malaysia, Sultan Muhammad V, has canceled the official ceremony of his birthday and the royal tea reception to donate the funds allotted for these events to repay the public debt of the country, the Royal Household announced Friday.
Sultan Muhammad V, who occupies the throne of Malaysia for the period 2016-2021, will turn 49 on Oct. 6.
He announced in June that he had donated 10 percent of his salary to Malaysia’s Hope Fund, after declaring himself moved by donations by Malaysians to the fund set up by the new government to deal with the public debt.
The Finance Ministry in May estimated that the state debt was around 1 trillion ringgit (about $250 billion).
Corruption was one of the main reasons why the ruling coalition that governed the country since independence in 1957 lost the elections for the first time in May to the opposition.
Najib Razak, prime minister from 2009 to May 2018, is currently facing corruption charges.