A Malaysian state has announced its new sultan. He is expected to be elected king after the former monarch abdicated following his reported marriage to a Russian former beauty queen.
The official Bernama news agency, citing a senior palace official, said Tengku Abdullah Shah has replaced his father, Sultan Ahmad Shah as the ruler of Pahang state.
According to reports, the move was designed to pave the way for Sultan Abdullah to be chosen as the next king of Malaysia by the Council of Rulers, who will chose a new king on January 24.
Sultan stepped down on Sunday after reports surfaced that he had taken medical leave, and then wed the former Miss Moscow. Even as the whole of Malaysia was shocked to know the news, the country's Islamic royal families set about the task of electing a new king to replace Muhammad. Sultan is 49 and became the first in the history of Malaysia to give up the throne just two years into his term. Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, with a unique arrangement where the throne changes hands every five years between rulers of the country's nine states headed by centuries-old Islamic royalty.
The royal households take it in turn to provide the country's king, and it is usually known before the formal election who will become the monarch. While their role is ceremonial, Malaysia's royalty command great respect, especially from Muslim Malays, and criticising them is strictly forbidden. Malaysia is home to lot of Indians, especially Tamils, who migrated there many decades ago.