Malaysia set to elect new king after unprecedented abdication

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Malaysian royals are voting on a new king after the previous monarch, in an unprecedented move, abdicated the throne before the end of his term.

A new ruler, known as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, is usually picked every five years.

But Sultan Muhammad V abdicated in January after just two years on the throne, a first in Malaysian history.

Malaysia has a constitutional monarchy. However, the rulers do not participate in daily governance.

A new ruler is expected to be sworn in on 31 January.

In November, Sultan Muhammad V went on medical leave. Later that month, photos emerged on social media that appeared to show his wedding to a former Miss Moscow in the Russian capital.

Muhammad V, who was 47 when he was sworn in, has garnered a reputation for his enthusiasm for extreme sports like off-road driving, shooting and endurance challenges.

His shock abdication has put the spotlight on Malaysia’s unusual monarchy, the only rotational monarchy in the world.

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