Malaysia’s king becomes first to abdicate throne just months after marrying Russian beauty queen 24 years his junior
- King Sultan Muhammad V has abdicated after just two years on the throne
- 49-year-old Sultan resigned with immediate effect, cutting short 5-year term
- Malaysia’s nine hereditary state rulers take turns as king for five-year terms
- It is the first time since Independence from Britain in 1957 a king has abdicated
King Sultan Muhammad V of Malaysia has abdicated two years into his five-year reign
Malaysian King Sultan Muhammad V has abdicated after just two years on the throne.
The palace said in a statement this morning that the 49-year-old Sultan had resigned with immediate effect, cutting short his five-year term.
No reason was given in the statement for the abdication, which is the first in Malaysia’s history.
Sultan Muhammad V, ruler of northeast Kelantan state, was installed in December 2016 as one of Malaysia’s youngest constitutional monarchs.
He married former Miss Moscow Oksana Voevodina, 25, in a lavish ceremony in November after she converted to Islam.
Under a unique system maintained since Malaysia’s independence from Britain in 1957, nine hereditary state rulers take turns as king for five-year terms.
It comes after weeks of speculation about his future after he took a leave of absence and amid rumours he married a Russian former beauty queen.
In a statement, the palace said simply: ‘The National Palace informs that his majesty has resigned as the 15th king effective January 6.’
Former Miss Moscow Oksana Voevodina, 25, married King Sultan Muhammad V in a lavish ceremony in November
This is the first time a king has abdicated in the Muslim-majority country since independence
There had been a question mark over the reign of the king since his leave of absence ‘for medical treatment’ in November.
Reports then circulated online that he had married a former Miss Moscow in Russia — although royal officials in Malaysia have so far not commented on the rumours.
Speculation intensified about his future this week when the country’s Islamic royals reportedly held a special meeting.
This photo taken on July 17, 2018 shows the 15th king of Malaysia, Sultan Muhammad V (right), preparing to deliver his address during the opening ceremony of the parliament in Kuala Lumpur as Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (left) looks on