KUALA LUMPUR • Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he has not received any official confirmation or indication on rumours that the Malaysian King, Sultan Muhammad V, 49, would be stepping down.
When asked by reporters if the King had returned to work after going on leave for two months up to Dec 31, Tun Dr Mahathir said: "As far as I know." The Premier was speaking to reporters yesterday after chairing the Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting.
Asked if the Conference of Rulers could appoint an acting king for the current term, Dr Mahathir replied that this was up to the rulers to decide. The conference groups the nine sultans of the royal Malay houses and four state governors.
Perak's Sultan Nazrin Shah was the acting king during Sultan Muhammad V's absence.
The current king is from Kelantan state. He was proclaimed Malaysia's 15th king in December 2016.
The sultans take turns to be appointed constitutional monarch every five years.
Rumours that Sultan Muhammad V would abdicate soon have been circulating on social media.
On Thursday, Kelantan Deputy Menteri Besar Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah tried to tamp down the speculation, telling the public not to believe in rumours.
Datuk Amar asked the Attorney-General's Chambers to clamp down on what he said was fake news.
The New Straits Times reported yesterday that an unscheduled meeting among the Malay rulers took place on Wednesday night.
In late November, media reports said Sultan Muhammad V had married a beauty queen from Russia, Ms Oksana Voevodina, in Moscow.
The national palace Istana Negara, however, has not confirmed or denied the reports.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK