Malaysia's unique revolving monarchy was passed yesterday to the youthful sultan of the oil-rich state of Terengganu, a keen horse rider who has represented his country at international events.
Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, at 44, is Malaysia's second-youngest king ever, and is to serve a five-year term in the capital Kuala Lumpur after he was sworn in at a solemn ceremony at the king's palace.
Mizan, clad in royal yellow and sporting a sparkling ethnic Malay head-dress and a knife called the keris, was flanked by Malay state rulers as he read and signed an oath of office vowing to be loyal to Malaysia's laws and constitution.
The new monarch, who was composed through the ceremony, promised to protect Islam, Malaysia's official religion, and said he "will ensure a fair and peaceful rule in the country."
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, seated opposite with his Cabinet, then presented and read a letter declaring Mizan as king.
The sultan of northern Kedah state, Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, was also sworn in as deputy king.
Mizan and his wife, Nur Zahirah, 33, arrived earlier yesterday from Terengganu and headed for parliament in a mustard gold Rolls Royce for an official welcome from Abdullah.
They were treated to a 21-gun salute after Mizan inspected a guard of honor. Ministers and foreign dignitaries stood in attendance to shake hands with Mizan and his queen, also dressed in yellow with a tiara placed on her headscarf.
Mizan will be formally installed as Yang di-Pertuan Agong ("He Who Is Made Lord," in Malay) in a grand ceremony next year at a date to be set.
Since independence in 1957 the country has had a system of elective monarchy, with the rulers of nine of the country's 13 states choosing a new king every five years.
The king commands great respect from Malaysians, especially the country's majority Malays, who maintain a loyalty to rulers which can be traced back to Malay sultanates centuries ago.
"We as Malaysians hope there will be peace and harmony under the leadership of the new king," said Rahmat Manidi from southern Johor state, amongst callers phoning in tributes to a state television channel.
The king is also the symbolic head of Islam in the majority-Muslim nation, as well as the nominal chief of the military.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown