By Invitation

The enduring political role of monarchies in S-E Asia

The Sultan of Pahang Abdullah Ahmad Shah (centre) leaving after taking the oath as the 16th King of Malaysia at the National Palace in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Jan 31 2019.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Monarchies may seem an anachronism, but from time to time, members of royalty by dint of choice or circumstance end up reshaping the political landscape.

As social and political institutions, monarchies were once dominant across South-east Asia. Their influence, however, waned considerably in the face of the military might of predatory European colonial power. By the end of the Second World War, some, like the Emperor of Annam in Vietnam, were forced to abdicate while others, like the sultans of Sumatra, were victims of regicide.

Please or to continue reading the full article.

Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month
  • Latest headlines and exclusive stories
  • In-depth analyses and award-winning multimedia content
  • Get access to all with our no-contract promotional package at only $0.99/month for the first 3 months*

*Terms and conditions apply.