KUALA LUMPUR - The Sultan of Pahang has been elected as the new Malaysian King, according to the Keeper of the Rulers' Seal as quoted by the national Bernama news agency.
The Conference of Rulers met on Thursday (Jan 24) morning to select Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin, 59.
He replaces the ruler of Kelantan who abdicated on Jan 6 after two years on the throne.
The ruler of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah, will continue serving as deputy King, according to the national palace, as quoted by Bernama news agency.
Eight of the nine Malay rulers were present at this morning's meeting, with the Kelantan ruler, Sultan Muhammad V, being the only absentee.
Malaysia 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 headed by Islamic royalty.
Under the rotation system, Pahang is next in line to provide the monarch.
Sultan Abdullah was named Pahang's new ruler - replacing his elderly, ailing father - several days after Sultan Muhammad V's abdication, in a step viewed as paving the way for him to become the next national monarch.
Sultan Abdullah is a keen athlete who holds a string of positions on sporting bodies, including on the council of world football governing body Fifa.
As well as being a member of the Fifa council - which lays out the vision for global football - he is president of the Asian Hockey Association and a former head of the Football Association of Malaysia.
After attending school in Malaysia, the keen polo player went on to study in Britain, where he attended the Sandhurst military academy, according to a biography published on the official Bernama news agency.