Bangkok, Jan 31 (EFE).- The Sultan of Johor, Ibrahim Iskandar, was sworn in as the 17th king of Malaysia on Wednesday during a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.
He will hold the mostly ceremonial position for the next five years and succeeds the Sultan of Pahang, Tengku Abdullah, in the rotating position.
His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim King of Malaysia, 65, was sworn in at the National Palace (Istana Negara), the official residence of the monarch, during an event in which he was flanked by the country’s other sultans, the four governors of Malaysian states without rulers, and members of the national government.
The new king arrived at the ceremony wearing the traditional regalia of his sultanate: black trousers and jacket, with hat and gold royal details.
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim made the accession to the throne official with the reading of the proclamation, according to state news agency Bernama.
“Long live the king!” Anwar wrote on X in a message to congratulate the new monarch.
The Sultan of Perak, Nazrin Shah, 67, will remain as deputy king for another five years, a record in the position that he has held since 2016.
In October, the country’s nine sultans decided during a conclave of the Conference of Rulers that the ruler of Johor would be the next to ascend the throne, becoming the second of the southern state, four decades after his late father Sultan Mahmud Iskandar became king in 1984.
Famous for his large collection of vehicles, King Sultan Ibrahim, who is seen on social media with Ferrari sports cars and drives high-end motorcycles, is known for his outspokenness on political matters.
One of Malaysia’s richest sultans, his private investments range from mining operations to football teams to large real estate projects.
The monarch’s first-born son Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Ibrahim has assumed the position of Johor regent.
The sultans take the throne every five years, according to the rotating system of Malaysia, which has a Malay-Muslim majority that became independent from the United Kingdom in 1957.
The lineage of Malaysian sultans dates back to the Malay sultanates of the 15th century.
The king is seen by the country’s Muslims, who represent 60 percent of the around 31 million population, as the patriarch of the Malay ethnic group, and a reference for the Chinese, Indian and indigenous minorities.
Although his role is mostly ceremonial, the king occupies an increasingly central role due to Malaysia’s tumultuous political scene, with Anwar the fifth prime minister in less than five years, following a two-year political crisis.
The king of Malaysia has the discretionary power to appoint a prime minister who he believes has the support of the majority of deputies. EFE