As of the 6th of January 2018, His Majesty The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V officially resigned from his role as the 15th King of Malaysia. Many were saddened by this turn of events, but of course chose to respect His Majesty’s decision.
Meanwhile, amid speculations on why the Agong resigned, Malaysians are left guessing who the new Ruler might be. This is because certain events have led to a deviation from the original rotation of rulers, so now there are at least two different lines of rotation to be considered. Many are assuming the next Agong will be the current Deputy Agong, Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak. This is possible, but also not the only possibility.
The Succession Line Of The King Of Malaysia
According to the original rotation, where the position of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is rotated among the nine hereditary rulers of nine Malaysian states, the list is as follows, in accordance to the Third Schedule of the Constitution:-
- The Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan
- The Sultan of Selangor
- The Raja of Perlis
- The Sultan of Terengganu
- The Sultan of Kedah
- The Sultan of Kelantan
- The Sultan of Pahang
- The Sultan of Johor
- The Sultan of Perak
Thus, by right, after the Agong resigned, the next in line should be the Sultan of Pahang. However, as His Majesty is currently ill and not fit for duty, the position falls to the Sultan of Johor.
So, how does the Sultan of Perak fall into this since the cycle clearly points towards the Sultan of Johor? Well, for starters, Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak was elected Deputy Yang Di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia on 14 October 2016, the appointment taking effect 13 December 2016. More tellingly, after being the Acting Yang Di-Pertuan Agong while Sultan Muhammad V was on medical leave, he is also currently the acting Agong while awaiting the Conference of Rulers to elect the 16th Yang Di-Pertuan Agong on 24 January 2019.
However, just because His Majesty is the Deputy Agong, it does not mean that he is automatically next in line to be Agong. Many Malaysians are hoping that he will be, though, and we can understand why.
The Accolades of Sultan Nazrin Shah
Without comparing Sultan Nazrin Shah to other Rulers who may be a candidate for the position of the 16th King of Malaysia, here’s a list of why Sultan Nazrin Shah would make a great Agong:-
- He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Worcester College, Oxford.
- Has a Master of Public Administration degree from the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Massachusetts.
- Is a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University. This illustrates how serious the Tuanku is in leaning all he can about good governance and leadership.
- As the Crown Prince, he had been Financial Ambassador, and now Patron, of the Malaysian International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC), Pro-Chancellor of Universiti Malaya and is the chairman of the Board of Governors of the Malay College Kuala Kangsar.
- He is also and Eminent Fellow at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia.
- He was recently appointed as the Patron of Oxford University’s Centre for Southeast Asia Studies in October 2018.
- He is also an Honorary Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford where as an alumnus he has dedicated a new conference facility, the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre – a world-class venue for conferences and events, centered around the Tuanku Bainun Auditorium, named after his mother. The centre overlooks a lake, the gardens and the cricket pavillion.
- His accolades also includes being a Fellow of the Chancellor’s Court of Benefactor at the University of Oxford, Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Honorary Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge and Honorary Fellow of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge.
- He was the Deputy Agong and current Acting Agong and many would agree that he has been doing a good job carrying out Agong duties the past two months or so. Just like in normal, non-royal employment, he has the experience.
It can be surmised that Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak is one royal who is invested in sosio-economic and political issues, as well as the advancement of education. Not a bad attribute to have in a King of a country at all.