King Muhammad V Renounces Throne

The Malaysian royal family held a meeting to discuss a date to select a new king, after Muhammad V resigned suddenly. Muhammad V’s abdication marked the first time in modern history that the country’s constitutional leader has stepped down.

Muhammad V was elected the 15th Malaysia’s head of state in December 2016 for a term of six years. However he quit much before the expiry of his term. Every nine years, the country’s nine royal families elect one of their sultans as King of the whole country.

According to state run media, cars of the rulers of six of the royal houses arrived at the the King’s official residence on Monday morning. The royal houses were believed discussing a date to elect Muhammad V’s successor.

Muhammad V’s abdication “wasn’t a surprise,” to many political watchers of the country. Last year the King took a 2 month long medical leave. The royal families persuaded Muhammad to step down.

In May last year, Muhammad V swore in current Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

The King’s unprecedented move comes amongst speculation that he married a Russian beauty queen, Oksana Voevodina, in November last year. Photos of the wedding ceremony were shared on social media, but neither the Malaysian government nor the palace has confirmed the wedding.