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KUALA LUMPUR —In Malaysia there is a grand royal ceremony every five years and the country takes this historic event seriously.

Anticipation is high as the event is being held with a new government in power and the day is of course a national holiday.

In fact the government is even going after recalcitrant companies that are not willing to let their employees enjoy the holiday.

Like other countries that have a monarchy there will be pomp and glory to mark the installation of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

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It is also interesting to note that the new King will be installed after the former holder of the title stepped down in a dramatic turn of events.

The previous King Muhammad V’s resignation on January 6 was something that was unfamiliar to Malaysians as no King has abdicated before.

Sultan Muhammad V was on a two-month leave for “medical treatment” when reports flared over the country’s media of his wedding to former Russian beauty queen, Rihana Oksana Voevodina.

His resignation also led to a ‘rare’ and ‘Unscheduled Meeting’ in his absence which was reported by the New Straits Times giving rise to much speculation as to what was going on.

The same paper broke the story of his wedding in Russia. Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan was the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

On Tuesday Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah of Pahang will be installed as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara.

The unique system works as a sort of round robin among the states. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong or King is elected for a five-year term from among the nine Malay Rulers, on a rotational basis agreed upon by the rulers themselves. The rulers are from Perlis, Kedah, Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Johor, Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan, says Bernama.

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Sultan Abdullah was proclaimed as the sixth Sultan of Pahang on Jan 15, succeeding his father, the late Paduka Ayahanda Sultan Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah.

His Majesty was elected as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at a special meeting of the Conference of Rulers on Jan 24, and was sworn in on Jan 31, Bernama says.

The local national news agency says the installation on Tuesday also has significance because Sultan Abdullah and the Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, are the children of sultans who were previously elected as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. -/TISG

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