Kelantan's Sultan is Malaysia's next king

Sultan Muhammad V was proclaimed as Kelantan's 29th Sultan in 2010. The 47-year-old received his education in Oxford and is known to have a penchant for four-wheel drive expeditions.
Sultan Muhammad V was proclaimed as Kelantan's 29th Sultan in 2010. The 47-year-old received his education in Oxford and is known to have a penchant for four-wheel drive expeditions.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Conference of Rulers elects Muhammad V, whose five-year term will begin on Dec 13

Malaysia's 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong will come from the state of Kelantan, according to the Conference of Rulers yesterday.

The appointment is effective from Dec 13, with the new king, Sultan Muhammad V, serving a five-year term. Perak's Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah is elected as the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong for the same period.

Malaysia practises a rotating monarchy system among the nine states which have hereditary royal rulers known as sultans. The Yang di- Pertuan Agong acts as the country's head of state, and is elected from among the sultans that form the Conference of Rulers.

The Sultan of Kedah, 88, is the current king, with his tenure ending in December.

He is the country's first ruler to have held the position twice and is Malaysia's oldest constitutional monarch. Kelantan is the state that is next in line.

Sultan Muhammad V, 47, was born as Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra. He received his education in Oxford and is known to have a penchant for four-wheel drive expeditions, according to state newswire Bernama. He is a divorcee and was proclaimed as Kelantan's 29th Sultan in 2010.

Much attention has been given to yesterday's appointment of the next king, following former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad's meeting with the current king last month to hand in his Citizen's Declaration, a petition signed by 1.4 million Malaysians calling for the removal of Prime Minister Najib Razak from office.

There was also speculation earlier that the Conference of Rulers may deviate from the rotation system, although it has never happened before.

Dr Mahathir earlier this year said that through the Citizen's Declaration, he hoped the rulers will hear the people's voices.

Malaysia's monarchy holds a largely ceremonial role, as administrative powers lie with the prime minister and Parliament. Legal experts contend that the king has no constitutional power to remove a sitting prime minister.

Last year, the rulers issued a statement calling for swift completion of the investigations surrounding 1Malaysia Development Berhad, a scandal that has plagued Mr Najib.

The king is seen as the symbolic head of Islam and an upholder of the Malay-Muslim majority.

The king also appoints Cabinet ministers and senior judges on the advice of the prime minister.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2016, with the headline 'Kelantan's Sultan is Malaysia's next king'. Print Edition | Subscribe