Tengku Abdullah Shah, currently the regent of Pahang, will succeed his father, Ahmad Shah, as the ruler of Pahang, the Bernama news agency reported on Saturday. Ahmad Shah, 88, was next in line to be king, but has fallen gravely ill.
"In this sad situation, regretfully, I and my family have to accept the fact that my father can no longer shoulder the duties and responsibilities as ruler," Tengku Muda Shah, Tengku Abdullah's younger brother, was quoted by Bernama as saying.
"In view of the situation, I and my closest family members agreed to propose to the Pahang Royal Council to appoint my elder brother Tengku Abdullah to be the successor."
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King-electMalaysia is a constitutional monarchy where the national throne rotates every five years between the sultans of the country's nine states. The state of Pahang is set to provide the country's next king, referred to as Yang di-Pertuan Agong (He Who is Made Lord).
The Conference of Rulers is set to pick a new ruler on January 24.
King Muhammad V abdicated the throne last Sunday amid reports he was to marry a former Russian beauty queen in Moscow. His abdication was the first for Malaysia since the country gained independence from British rule in 1957.
Tengku Abdullah Shah, 59, is a well-known figure in Asia's sports scene. He is the current president of the Asian Hockey Federation and is a council member of world football's governing body, FIFA.
Malaysian royalty are held in high esteem, though their role is ceremonial. The monarch is the historic head of Islam in the country, as well as the nominal chief of the military. Criticism of the monarch is regarded as a grave offense.
dv/rc (AFP, AP)
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