Sultan Abdullah sworn in as new Malaysian King

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Kuala Lumpur, Jan 31 (IANS) Pahang’s Sultan Abdullah Ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah was sworn in on Thursday as the 16th King of Malaysia after his predecessor, Sultan Muhammad V, abdicated the throne earlier this month.

Abdullah, 59, took the charge of the King, also Malaysia’s head of state, for the next five years at the National Palace here, the official residence of the monarch, reports Efe news.

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.

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Malaysia practices the system of a constitutional monarchy. According to its Constitution, the King, who represents the country at official events, 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.

The King is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces.

Abdullah, who replaced his ailing father Ahmad Shah as the Sultan of Pahang in mid-January, was elected as the King by the council of Sultans and governors on January 24.

Shah, 88, reigned for 45 years.

–IANS

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