Malaysia crowns new king

Malaysia crowns new king

Malaysia has a new king after his predecessor abruptly stepped down earlier this month. Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was crowned on Thursday, making him the 16th king since the country gained independence.

In a televised ceremony, Sultan Abdullah was sworn in at the national palace in Kuala Lumpur. He said; "I will sincerely rule Malaysia with justice in accordance with the Constitution."

The British-educated 59-year-old is known for his strong interest in sports. He's a member of FIFA and president of the Asian Hockey Federation.

The king plays a largely ceremonial role in the country such as swearing in prime ministers and issuing royal pardons.

Malaysia has a unique monarchy. The country's 9 state rulers take turns serving as king on five-year terms.

The former king, Muhammad the 5th, abdicated after just two years. The National Palace has given no explanation. But the media report that he married a former Russian beauty queen while on medical leave in November.