Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah (L) and his consort Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah at the coronation on July 30 (Photo: AFP/VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – The Sultan of Pahang, Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, was enthroned as the 16th king of Malaysia on July 30.

Sultan Abdullah was elected king by the Conference of Rulers in January. He replaced Sultan Muhammad V, who resigned after over two years on the throne, the first time ever in Malaysia’s history.

Malaysia’s kings are elected by the rulers of the country’s nine states, who take turns in serving five-year terms. The system has been maintained since 1957.

In his maiden speech as King, Sultan Abdullah called on the people to refrain from raising matters that can undermine and destroy the country's harmony, stressing that unity and harmony are pillars of strength of the nation.

He also voiced his belief that the Malaysian government led by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad could address socio-economic challenges to make the country prosper in the coming time.

Despite the merely ceremonial role, Malaysia's Islamic royalty command great respect. The king is also the symbolic head of Islam in the nation, as well as the nominal chief of the military. -VNA