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Malaysia: Sultan Ibrahim Named Next King

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The influential and vocal Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar of the southern state of Johor was chosen by Malaysia’s royal families to be the nation’s future ruler.

In Malaysia, the function of the king is mostly ceremonial; nevertheless, because of protracted political unrest, the monarchy has gained greater clout recently. This has allowed the current king to exercise discretionary powers that have not been exercised much.

The heads of Malaysia’s nine royal houses alternately rule the country for five years as monarchs under a peculiar arrangement. The monarch acts as the head of state in this parliamentary democracy in Southeast Asia.

On January 31, 2024, Sultan Ibrahim will succeed the present King Al-Sultan Abdullah, according to a statement released on Friday by the custodian of the kings’ seal.

Sultan Ibrahim has stated he gets along well with Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and has been vocal about politics, in contrast to previous traditional Malaysian monarchs.

The sultan has a diverse business portfolio that includes real estate and mining. He is well-known for owning a sizable collection of high-end automobiles and motorbikes.

The last three prime ministers of Malaysia were chosen by King Al-Sultan, who took an unusually active part in the country’s affairs.

Only a few discretionary powers are granted to the monarch under the federal constitution; for the most part, the king must follow the prime minister’s and cabinet’s recommendations.

Additionally, since the prime minister is normally chosen through an election, the monarch may designate a prime minister anyone he feels has a parliamentary majority. This authority will not be used until 2020.

During a time of political unrest brought on by the fall of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which had ruled Malaysia without interruption since independence until 2018, King Al-Sultan used such powers.

The monarch is also able to pardon those who have been found guilty. Anwar was convicted of sodomy and corruption in 2018 after being pardoned by Sultan Muhammad V, the predecessor of the current Al-Sultan, who claims the allegations were politically driven.

The application for a royal pardon by former prime minister Najib Razak, who was imprisoned last year due to a bribery conviction connected to a scandal involving state fund 1MDB, may be examined by the incoming monarch.

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