Malaysia's king abdicates: palace statement

Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan has stepped down as the 15th Yang di Pertuan Agong with his resignation effective on Jan 6 2019

Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan has stepped down as the 15th Yang di Pertuan Agong with his resignation effective on Jan 6 2019

Malaysia's King Muhammad V stepped down from the throne on Sunday.

Muhammad V's resignation took effect immediately, the National Palace said in a statement.

"In discharging the wishes of His Majesty Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V, Istana Negara hereby announces that His Majesty is abdicating as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong effective Jan 6, 2019, pursuant to Article 32 (3) of the Federal Constitution", he said in a statement here. He has also expressed his highest appreciation to the Prime Minister and the government for having given their cooperation in governing the country.

"The King, during his tenure, worked to fulfil his responsibilities and the trust given him as Head of State, working to be an anchor of stability, a source of justice, a core of unity and the protector of unification among the people".

"As the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, His Majesty said he is very proud with the sacrifices and loyalty that has been shown to His Majesty and the country".

Wan Ahmad said His Majesty has decreed that Malaysians remain united and work together in shouldering the responsibilities towards this sovereign nation so Malaysia will continue to be in peace and harmony.

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"His Majesty has prepared to return to Kelantan Darul Naim to be with the state government and especially the people of Kelantan to safeguard and develop Kelantan for the betterment of the public", the Istana Negara said.

Muhammad V was selected in October 2016 as Malaysia's head of state.

"His Majesty has expressed his thanks to the rulers who have chosen him as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong from Dec 13, 2016". Perak's Sultan Nazrin Shah took over as the acting Agong during his absence.

Sultan Muhammad V's decision marks the first time a king has abdicated in the Muslim-majority country since Malaysia gained independence from Britain in 1957.

Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, with an unique arrangement where the throne changes hands every five years between rulers of the nine Malaysian states headed by centuries-old Islamic royalty.

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