Malaysia's King Abdicates in Unexpected and Rare Move

Doctor’s daughter Oksana Voevodina was 22 in 2015 when she won the title of Miss Moscow

Doctor’s daughter Oksana Voevodina was 22 in 2015 when she won the title of Miss Moscow

King Sultan Muhammad V, 49, stepped down as King of Malaysia on Monday after just two years on the throne - the first time such an abdication has taken place in the country's history.

His resignation also comes barely days after he returned from a two-month medical leave and months after he reportedly married 25-year-old Russian beauty queen Oksana Voevodina.

"The Rulers have made a decision to hold a special Council of Rulers meeting on Thursday, 24th January 2019 for the goal of electing the Yang di-Pertuan Agong XVI (16) and the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong".

No Malaysian monarch has stepped away from the throne since the country gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1957.

Under a unique system maintained since Malaysia's independence from Britain in 1957, nine hereditary state rulers take turns as the country's king for five-year terms.

But it is largely ceremonial, with power in the hands of parliament and the prime minister.

Royal wedding Oksana Voevodina 25 married Malaysia's Muhammad V of Kelantan 49 in a lavish royal wedding ceremony in the Russian capital last week
Malaysia's King Muhammad V resigns

Malaysia has a elective constitutional monarchy at the national level. In June, the government and the Agong reached an impasse regarding the appointment of ethnic Indian lawyer Tommy Thomas as attorney general, a position normally reserved for a member of the Malay-Muslim majority race - although the constitution does not specify a specific race, gender or religious requirement for the role.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun has warned the public not to engage in speculation following the resignation of Sultan Muhammad V as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong yesterday.

Local newspapers, featuring a picture of Malaysia's King Muhammad V on their front pages, are on display in Shah Alam, Malaysia January 7, 2019. No reason was given and palace officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Mr Ahmad also said in a statement Monday that the new king would be sworn in on January 31. He was due to return to his duties earlier this week but instead issued a statement on Sunday announcing that he is abdicating the throne that he has held for only two years.

Malaysia's nine state rulers elect a leader among themselves every five years, usually on a rotational basis. Some observers said he can abdicate in favour of his son, who can become king.

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