KUALA LUMPUR: The Russian-born ex-wife of Kelantan’s Sultan Muhammad V on Monday (Jul 22) thanked Malaysians for their support and kindness, after news of their divorce was confirmed at the weekend.
In an Instagram post to mark two months since the birth of her son, former beauty queen Rihana Oxana Gorbatenko did not address the divorce specifically.
However, she expressed gratitude to people from all over the world for their “kind and warm letters”.
She wrote: “I want to tell all the people from Malaysia: You have big hearts because you accepted and supported me – a girl who was born in another country and grown in a different culture.
“I am so proud that Malaysian blood flows in the veins of my son and I will do everything for him to grow worthy of your love.”
She added: “In my life, I have to face a lot of malice, slander and envy. But you convince me that there is a still a lot of kindness left in the world.”
Ms Rihana said she will keep sharing on social media in an “honest and open dialogue”. She has amassed more than 420,000 followers on Instagram.
On Saturday, the sultan’s lawyer said that the 49-year-old ruler "irrevocably divorced" Ms Rihana by three Talaqs on Jun 22.
The divorce was done in front of two competent Muslim witnesses and in accordance with Syariah laws, Mr Koh Tien Hua of Eversheds Harry Elias LLP said in a statement.
The lawyer would not comment on where the divorce took place.
“The Kelantan Syariah Court has issued a Divorce Certificate dated 1 July 2019 in accordance with the Islamic Family Law Enactment 2002,” the statement said.
According to Islamic law, three Talaqs is carried out when the divorce declaration is repeated three times by the husband.
It is the husband's right to dissolve the marriage by simply announcing to his wife that he repudiates her. The husband does not require court approval. He also does not need to provide a reason.
The Kelantan palace has not commented on the divorce or the marriage, despite several media reports earlier citing anonymous sources.
Mr Koh said that Ms Rihana has been informed of the divorce by her Russian lawyer.
The former Malaysian King reportedly married the former beauty queen last year. Ms Rihana is said to have given birth to a child in May.
Mr Koh added: "There is no objective evidence as yet as to the biological father of the child.
“On behalf of HRH Sultan Muhammad V, we asked that his privacy be respected.”
In January, Sultan Muhammad V, in an unprecedented move, stepped down as Malaysia’s king.
His unexpected move triggered an election among the royals. Under the country’s constitutional monarchy, one of the nine Malay rulers or sultans will ascend the federal throne to become the king for a five-year term.
Pahang's Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was elected as king.