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13:16, 07 January 2019

Malaysia's king steps down, cutting short his five-year term

AKIPRESS.COM - Malaysia's King Muhammad V resigned on Sunday, the first time a monarch has stepped down from the throne in the country before completing their five-year tenure, Aljazeera reports.

Muhammad V's resignation took effect immediately, the National Palace said in a statement. It did not give a reason for the 49-year-old royal's abrupt move.

But there had been a question mark over the reign of the king, who ascended the throne in December 2016, since he took a leave of absence for medical treatment in November.

Malaysia has nine royal households that typically take turns to be king. The selection of the next monarch can be decided by a vote in the Council of Rulers, made up of all nine royal households.

The palace statement said the king was grateful for the opportunity given to him by the Council of Rulers and thanked the prime minister and government.

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