Kuala Lumpur, Jan 31: Malaysia on Thursday installed the Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin, as the country’s new King after his predecessor, Sultan Muhammad V, abdicated the throne earlier this month owing to a controversy relating to his marriage to a Russian former beauty queen.
The King is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces.
In a ceremony steeped in pomp and centuries of tradition, the sports-loving sultan, dressed in aqua blue formal wear, took the oath of office at the national palace in Kuala Lumpur.
The 59-year-old Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin was elected the new king by the royal rulers of Malaysia’s 9 states last week. He has also succeeded his ailing father as the ruler of Pahang last month.
The ceremony was attended by other eight Sultans of the country, four non-royal governors and members of the government.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad officiated the oath taking ceremony and a head priest recited prayers.
Sultan of Perak, Nazrin Shah, 62, was sworn in as the Vice Minister and will also serve for the next five years.
Malaysia practices the system of a constitutional monarchy and the King is elected every five years from among the nine Sultans on a rotational basis.
The system has been in practice since Malaysia’s independence from the UK in 1957 but the lineage of Sultans dates back to the 15th century.