KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's nine royal households, which are part of a unique constitutional monarchy system, have long been content with playing a passive role in upholding Malay Muslim values in the country's complex and often combustible multiracial politics.
Now, with the ethnic Malay community divided like never before, the King is being dragged into the fray to play the central role of adjudicator in a bid to resolve the country's worsening political gridlock, developments that are stirring fresh debate on the role of monarchy in society.
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