KUALA LUMPUR: Pahang Regent Tengku Abdullah is set to be sworn in as Sultan next week, paving the way for him to be named as Malaysia's new king.
It was announced at a news conference on Saturday (Jan 12) that the coronation will be held at the Sultan Abu Bakar palace in Pekan, Pahang on Tuesday.
He will be proclaimed the sixth Sultan of Pahang replacing his father Sultan Ahmad Shah, Bernama said.
The abdication, a first for Malaysia in modern times, followed reports that he married an ex-beauty queen in Russia in November during a purported two-month medical leave.
Under Malaysia's constitutional monarchy system, the election for the king is held on a rotational basis every five years. The Sultan of Pahang would be next in line, followed by the Sultan of Johor.
It was earlier announced that a new king and deputy will be elected on Jan 24.
The proposal to appoint Tengku Abdullah as the new Sultan was made because his father Sultan Ahmad Shah, 88, is gravely ill, said Tengku Abdul Rahman, the regent's younger brother.
The Pahang Royal Council, which met in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, agreed unanimously to the proposal.
"In this sad situation, regretfully, I and my family have to accept the fact that my father can no longer shoulder the duties and responsibilities as ruler," said Tengku Abdul Rahman on Saturday.
"In view of the situation, I and my closest family members agreed to propose to the Pahang Royal Council to appoint my elder brother Tengku Abdullah to be the successor."
Tengku Abdullah, 59, is a popular figure in the sports scene and is currently president of the Asian Hockey Federation and a council member of football's world governing body, FIFA.
He is the fourth child and eldest son of Sultan Ahmad Shah.
The Oxford-educated crown prince was officially appointed the heir to the throne in 1975, just a day after turning 16.
The king assumes a largely ceremonial role, including acting as custodian of Islam in the Muslim-majority country. The king's assent is also needed for the appointment of a prime minister and various senior officials.
Malaysia's sultans trace a lineage back to the Malay sultanates of the 15th century. The king is referred to as Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or "He Who Is Made Lord".