See More on Facebook

Culture and society, Politics

Malaysian rulers to pick new king by the month’s end

Previous king stepped down in unprecedented move on Sunday.


Written by

Updated: January 8, 2019

Malaysia’s Conference of Rulers will meet in about two weeks’ time to elect the country’s new constitutional monarch and his deputy after the King, Sultan Muhammad V, stepped down on Sunday in an unprecedented move.

The 16th King, or Supreme Ruler, and his deputy will be sworn in at the end of the month, Keeper of the Royal Seal Syed Danial Syed Ahmad said in a press statement.

Yesterday morning, six of Malaysia’s nine ruling monarchs held a meeting at the national palace, Istana Negara, following Sultan Muhammad’s decision to step down as the Malaysian King.

“The rulers have also decided that a special meeting for the swearing-in ceremony for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong will be held on Thursday, Jan 31, 2019,” the statement added.

The rulers in attendance at yesterday’s meeting were from Perlis, Terengganu, Negeri Sembilan, Johor, Perak and Kedah.

According to the statement, the ruler of Pahang did not attend the meeting as he was unwell, and the Sultan of Selangor was overseas.

Sultan Muhammad, who is from Kelantan state, was seen performing Friday prayers in the state last week.

Neither the palace nor the Prime Minister’s Office has given a reason for the sudden abdication of the 49-year-old Sultan Muhammad, after just two years as King – three years short of the usual five-year tenure. Though a constitutional monarch, the King is seen as a symbol of Malay power and protector of Islam, the state religion.

Under Malaysia’s unique five-year rotation system involving the nine royal Malay houses, the next in line is Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang, 88, followed by Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, 60, and then Sultan Nazrin Shah from Perak, 62. Sultan Ahmad Shah is not in good health and his son has been Regent for two years.

The Conference of Rulers groups the nine sultans and four governors of states with no royal families (Penang, Melaka, Sabah, Sarawak). But voting for the next King is done only by the nine Malay rulers, with priority given to the monarch who is next in line.

In the interim period, Sultan Nazrin Shah, the current Deputy King, will likely serve as Acting King, reported the New Straits Times.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday that the government hopes the new King would be elected as soon as possible. Tun Dr Mahathir said the election had to be expedited because he had to have an audience with the King on certain matters.

“The government accepts the decision of Sultan Muhammad V to step down. It is in accordance with the Constitution,” Dr Mahathir told reporters after attending an event, according to Bernama news agency.

Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said she was saddened to hear of Sultan Muhammad’s abdication as he was the one who had pardoned her husband Anwar Ibrahim, who had been jailed for sodomy.

“We respect his decision, but I am also sad as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was there when a big change happened in the country, he was there to swear in the new Prime Minister and also saw the change of government which is historic,” she told local media.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


About the Author: The Straits Times is Singapore's top-selling newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Culture and society, Politics

10 dead in Delhi in violent protests against controversial citizenship law, in the midst of Trump’s visit

Witnesses said Delhi police, who were outnumbered, did little to stop the violence, mostly standing by while groups pelted each other with stones, and vandalised vehicles and property. At least 10 people, including a cop, have been killed in India’s capital city Delhi since Monday (Feb 24), in a worrying outbreak of communal violence between those protesting a controversial citizenship law and groups who oppose them. The violence, marked by arson and stone pelting, continued on Tuesday less than 20km from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump were holding talks. Even journalists reporting on the spot were attacked and forced to delete pictures and footage. More than 100 people have been injured, accordin


By The Straits Times
February 27, 2020

Culture and society, Politics

Malaysia political turmoil: Search for new government continues as King meets 132 MPs in second day of interviews

The unprecedented move for the King to interview MPs individually instead of meeting party leaders appears to be in line with Dr Mahathir’s plan to form a grand coalition across the political spectrum. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong continues the search for Malaysia’s new government on Wednesday (Feb 26) by interviewing 132 MPs to see whether they back interim premier Mahathir Mohamad to continue leading the country. This will complete interviews of all 222 parliamentarians after those from the opposition were asked on Tuesday who they wanted as prime minister, or if they preferred a snap election. Those heading to the palace on Wednesday are from the now collapsed Pakatan Harapan (PH) government. The Straits Times understands that those still in


By The Straits Times
February 26, 2020

Culture and society, Politics

Mahathir made caretaker PM after Malaysia’s King accepts his resignation

After his resignation, the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition saw the departure of dozens of lawmakers that left it short of a majority in Parliament. Just hours after submitting his resignation to Malaysia’s King on Monday (Feb 24), Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was made caretaker Prime Minister. The King accepted Tun Dr Mahathir’s resignation, but appointed him interim Prime Minister, Chief Secretary to the government Mohd Zuki Ali said in a statement. Dr Mahathir will continue to run the country’s administration until a new prime minister and Cabinet are appointed, he added. All ministerial appointments were also cancelled with effect from Monday as a result of the prime minister’s resignation, the chief secretary said in a separate state


By The Straits Times
February 25, 2020

Culture and society, Politics

Vietnamese advised to avoid travel to coronavirus-hit areas in South Korea, flights not banned yet

The Consular Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Vietnamese Embassy in South Korea has recommended Vietnamese citizens to avoid travel to areas affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and places vulnerable to the disease. The warning was made given the complex development of the COVID-19 in the RoK. Vietnamese citizens were also advised to keep a close watch and follow instructions of local agencies to prevent the illness. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked the Vietnamese Embassy in the RoK to work with local agencies to learn more about the situation, keep in touch with Vietnamese citizens in the country, establish a hotline and be ready to take protection measures when necessary. According to the embassy, as o


By Viet Nam News
February 24, 2020

Culture and society, Politics

Singdollar declines to near 3-year low on coronavirus fears

 Fall comes amid Asia-wide forex sell-off after South Korea infection spike, two deaths in Japan. The Singapore dollar fell along with most Asian currencies on concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. The local currency fell to its lowest level against the United States dollar since May 2017 at one point yesterday, before recouping some of the losses. It slid about 1 per cent to as low as S$1.4083 to the greenback, before paring losses to trade 0.3 per cent lower. South Korea’s won sank more than 1 per cent to 1,201.95 to the dollar. The baht, the most sensitive in Asia to tourism, dropped 0.7 per cent to 31.406 to the dollar. The sell-off in the region’s foreign exchange (FX) markets followed a spike in confirmed infections in South


By The Straits Times
February 21, 2020

Culture and society, Politics

China revokes press cards of 3 WSJ journalists in Beijing

According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, the press cards of three Wall Street Journal journalists who are based in Beijing will be revoked from Wednesday. The press cards of three Wall Street Journal journalists who are based in Beijing will be revoked from Wednesday, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang. “The Chinese people do not welcome media that use racially discriminatory languages and maliciously slander and attack China,” Geng told an online press briefing Wednesday. On Feb 3, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled “China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia” by Professor Walter Russell Mead of the Bard College, which smeared the efforts of the Chinese government and p


By China Daily
February 20, 2020