FILE – In this July 17, 2018, file photo, Malaysian King Sultan Muhammad V salutes during the national anthem at the opening of the 14th parliament session at the Parliament house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysia King Sultan Muhammad V has abdicated in an unexpected and rare move, just after two years on the throne. The palace said in a statement on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, that Sultan Muhammad V, 49, has resigned with immediate effect, cutting short his five-year term, without giving any reasons. Sultan Muhammad V, ruler of northeast Kelantan state, was installed in December 2016 as one of the country’s youngest constitutional monarchs. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun, File)
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – An official says Malaysia’s royal families will meet Jan. 24 to pick a new king after Sultan Muhammad V abdicated unexpectedly just after two years on the throne.
The 49-year-old ruler resigned Sunday as Malaysia’s 15th king, marking the first abdication in the nation’s history and cutting short his five-year term. No reason was given, but the move came after he reportedly married a 25-year-old former Russian beauty queen in November.
Keeper of the Ruler’s Seal, Syed Danial Syed Ahmad, says the Council of Rulers held a meeting Monday and set Jan. 24 to elect a new king. He said in a statement Monday that the new king would be sworn in Jan. 31.
The council comprises nine state rulers who take turns as Malaysia’s king for five-year terms.