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Malaysian state choses new sultan, expected to be elected king

AFP  |  Kuala Lumpur 

A Malaysian state announced it had a new sultan Saturday, who is expected to be elected after the former abdicated following his reported marriage to a Russian former beauty

Tengku has replaced his father, as the ruler of Pahang state, the official agency said, citing a

Local reports said the move was designed to pave the way for to be chosen as the next of by the Council of Rulers, who will chose a new on January 24.

is a constitutional monarchy with a unique arrangement where the national throne changes hands every five years between rulers of the country's nine states. Pahang state is due to provide the next ruler.

The country was thrown into shock Sunday when reigning king abdicated unexpectedly after just two years of rule, following reports that he married an ex-beauty in in November during a purported two-month medical leave.

The was the first for the country since its independence from British rule in 1957.

Royal officials have not commented on the reported wedding, or said what condition prompted the former king to take the leave.

Shah, 59, is a popular figure in the sports scene and is currently of the and a of football's world governing body,

While their role is ceremonial, Malaysia's royalty command great respect, especially from Malaysia's predominantly Muslim Malays, and criticising them is regarded as offensive.

Portraits of the adorn government buildings throughout the country.

The king is also the of Islam in the nation, as well as the of the military.

Malaysia's sultans trace a lineage back to the Malay sultanates of the 15th century.

The king is referred to as Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or "He Who Is Made Lord".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, January 12 2019. 16:07 IST