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Malaysia's king abdicates throne amid secret marriage rumors

Malaysia's king abdicates throne amid secret marriage rumors

Posted January. 08, 2019 07:36,   

Updated January. 08, 2019 07:36

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Malaysian King Sultan Muhammad V has stepped down from his two-year throne. This marks the first time that Malaysia saw its kings abdicating without fulfilling their term since the country was liberated from the United Kingdom in 1957.

According to Malaysian newspaper The Star, the Malaysian palace issued a statement on Sunday afternoon to announce that Sultan Muhammad V, the 15th king of Malaysia and the current Sultan of Kelantan, abdicated from his thrown. An official of the palace said, “The king sent a letter to the ruling committee to notify his official resignation.” Under the constitutional monarchy system of Malaysia, the nine Sultans of Malaysian states take turns to assume the five-year term as king of the country. It appears that one of the other Sultans will serve the throne temporarily.

The reason behind the abdication of Muhammad V, who was crowned in December 2016, has not been revealed yet. Local news media outlets pointed at the two-month leave that the Sultan took in November last year. It has been reported that Muhammad V tied the knot with Oksana Voevodina, a winner of Miss Moscow 2015.

As a rule, the king must reveal the reason for his leave of absence in advance, but Muhammad V did not comply such rules and came under fire for negligence of royal duties. A news report suggested that he was under pressure from other Sultans to step down voluntarily no later than Wednesday. On the night of January 2, the Sultans held an unscheduled meeting to discuss this “serious matter” on Wednesday night and had another meeting in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur two days later.

A graduate from the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Ms. Voevodina is reported to have met Muhammad V in 2017 when she was modeling luxury watches in Europe. In 2004, Sultan Muhammad V married a descendent of Muslim royalty in Pattani province, a southern part of Thailand, but got divorced in 2008.


Ji-Sun Choi aurinko@donga.com