PETALING JAYA: Sultan Muhammad V has stepped down as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, two years and 24 days into his five-year term as Malaysia’s Head of State.
The King’s resignation, which came into effect yesterday, finally put to rest speculation that has been swirling for some time.
Elected as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Dec 13, 2016, Sultan Muhammad V’s resignation triggers a series of events that will culminate in the choosing of the next King.
According to the website of the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal, an election for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong must be held no later than four weeks from the date the position falls vacant.
Comptroller of the Royal Household for Istana Negara, Datuk Pengelola Bijaya Diraja Datuk Wan Ahmad Dahlan Ab Aziz said Sultan Muhammad V had resigned as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in line with Article 32(3) of the Federal Constitution.
“His Majesty has informed this matter officially to the Malay Rulers in a letter issued to the secretary of the Conference of Rulers,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Wan Ahmad Dahlan said during his time in office, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had made efforts to fulfil his responsibilities as Head of State and played his part as an anchor of stability, the source of justice, the basis of unity as well as a uniting factor among the rakyat.
The King offered his thanks to other Malay Rulers who had chosen him as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong. He also expressed his highest appreciation to the Prime Minister and the federal government for their cooperation.
“As the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, His Majesty is very proud with the sacrifices and loyalty that has been shown to His Majesty and the country all this while,” said Wan Ahmad Dahlan.
Sultan Muhammad V, he said, had decreed for Malaysians to remain united, practise compromise and work together in shouldering their responsibilities towards this sovereign nation.
“The King has made preparations to return to his home state of Kelantan to be with the state government and the people of Kelantan to further help uplift the state,” he said.
Sultan Muhammad V holds the record as the youngest to reign as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as he was elected to the office at the age of 47.
He succeeded Kedah Ruler, Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, whose five-year reign ended on Dec 12, 2016.
As King, he presided over the historic transition of power when Pakatan Harapan unseated the Barisan Nasional government after the May 9 general election last year.
Two months ago, social media was abuzz with pictures of his supposed marriage to a Russian beauty queen.