Malaysian King Sultan Muhammad V Abdicates Unexpectedly

Malaysian King Sultan Muhammad V unexpectedly abdicated on Sunday after serving only two years as the country’s monarch, according to the Associated Press. The palace issued a statement saying that the 49-year-old, who was Malaysia’s 15th king, was resigning immediately. Muhammad V’s sudden move cuts short his five-year term on the throne, the AP reports. A reason for Muhammad V’s abdication was not immediately released. Muhammad V, who became one of Malaysia’s youngest monarchs when he assumed the throne in 2016, reportedly married a 25-year-old Russian beauty queen in November. The marriage, which would have taken place while Muhammad V was on a two-month medical leave, has not been officially confirmed. In Malaysia, nine hereditary state rulers take turns on the throne for a term of five-years. While the position of constitutional monarch is mostly ceremonial, the kingship is greatly respected as a preserver of Malay tradition, per the AP.