BANGKOK – The nine Sultans of Malaysia met on Monday and decided to convene a special meeting on Jan. 24 to elect a new King after the sudden abdication of Muhammad V, the royal household said on Monday.
The new king will be sworn in on Jan. 31, Syed Danial Syed Ahmad, Keeper of Ruler’s Seal and secretary of the Malaysian monarchy, said after Monday’s meeting at the Istana Negara palace, official news agency Bernama reported.
Until that date, Sultan of Perak, Nazrin Shah, will be the acting king, he added.
Muhammad V, Sultan of Kelantan, who was elected as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong – Malaysia’s head of state – had stepped down on Sunday after two years on the throne.
The unprecedented decision came after he resumed his duties last week, following a two-month medical break.
Several foreign media had also reported in December 2018 that the Sultan had married a 25-year-old Russian beauty queen Oksana Voevodina in a ceremony in Moscow, although there has been no official confirmation yet.
Forty-nine-year Muhammad V, who succeeded the Sultan of Kedah Abdul Halim Muadzam, had ascended the throne on Dec. 13, 2016.
Malaysia is divided into 13 states, out of which nine are ruled by monarchs, who form the council called the Conference of Rulers.
According to the Malaysian constitution, the king, the Commander-in-Chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces, who represents the country at official events, is elected every five years from among the nine Sultans of Malaysia on a rotational basis.