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An extreme sports enthusiast, Sultan Muhammad V takes oath as the new king of Malaysia

47-year-old new king in Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysia inaugurated its new king, Sultan Muhammad V in a traditional ceremony on Monday. 

The new Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who succeeds Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah of Kedah, will adorn the ceremonial throne for the next five years. 

People of Kelantan have a monarch from their province after a gap of 37 years.

The ceremony began in the traditional style with the assigned monarch’s departure. 

Hundreds of people gathered along a 14-km stretch in Istana Negeri in Kelantan to see off the new king. 

Perak's Sultan Nazrin Shah was also declared as the new deputy king at the ceremony. 

In the capital Kuala Lumpur, Prime Minister Najib Razak greeted the 47-year-old new king with senior officials.   

The youngest of the Malay rulers, Muhammad V was elected by the Conference of Rulers among the nine ruling Malaysian provincial princes in its 243rd meeting in October. 

Although the position is ceremonial, Malaysia follows a rotational monarchy system as the so-called head of the country since its independence from Britain in 1957, while the elected PM retains the ruling power.

In the traditional ceremony, which runs through centuries, the Sultan took an oath of his office, dressed in gold-colored Malay formal wear at the national palace in Kuala Lumpur. The newly elected king, Muhammad, is also the first bachelor to hold the post as his marriage with Tengku Zubaidah Tengku Norudin of Thailand ended in a divorce.

Kelantan's Grand Imam of the Council of the Religion of Islam and Malay Custom (Maik), Muhammad Hana Pizi Abdullah said, “We, the mosque goers are close to his majesty whose heart is with the mosque and Islam. It is a well-known fact that the sultan spends considerable time in the mosques and religious functions hence it's easy for the people to get close to his majesty.”

Muhammad has served as the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong since 2011 and has led many social initiatives. He is known for his relaxed public persona and passion for racing and extreme sports. He also frequently takes part in walkathons to promote health awareness.

The new king has studied at St Cross College at Oxford and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. 

Kelantan mufti Datuk Mohamad Shukri Mohamad said he often sought his guidance in matters linked to Islamic law.

"For example, the entertainment law under Kota Bharu-Bandar Raya Islam Municipal Council. Any show, game, entertainment cannot be held on Friday night. But the Chinese community want to hold (entertainment) on a Friday night so they seek permission from Sultan Muhammad V and he will not approve it until he has obtained the views of the Mufti Department," he said.

"In fact, when there is time, he would have lunch at religious schools and I observe in my time as mufti, that there had never been any matter which he would not agree to once an opinion had been given," he added.

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