The Council of Rulers held a special meeting at the Istana Negara today to decide on the next Yang Di-Pertuan Agong XVI, as well as the Deputy. It has been announced that the Sultan of Pahang, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah Ibni Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al Musta’in Billah, has been elected the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak has been re-elected as the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Following the resignation of Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan as the 15th Yang Di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, there was speculation as to whom the next Agong would be. One possible candidate included Deputy Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak, as he has been visibly carrying out duties as the Acting Yang Di-Pertuan Agong during Sultan Muhammad V’s leave of absence due to medical reasons. The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Ismail, is also in line to be Agong if the Council of Rulers, also known as Durbar, decide to follow the original line up of succession from the first Agong, Tuanku Abdul Rahman of Negeri Sembilan, back in 1957.
However, there then came a new contender for the throne – the newly-crowned Sultan Abdullah of Pahang. Previously the Crown Prince, His Majesty was proclaimed the sixth Sultan of Pahang since the previous ruler, Sultan Ahmad Shah is currently too ill to perform duties.
The original line of succession for Agong lists the Sultan of Pahang as successor after the Sultan of Kelantan, and only after that to be followed by Johor. Pahang was assumed to be bypassed previously due to the former Sultan’s illness. However, now that there is a new Sultan, Pahang was then back to being up for consideration.
This is not to say that the Sultans of Johor and Perak were automatically out of the picture. The Council of Rulers, made up of the nine Rulers of the Malay states, and the governors or Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Penang, Malacca, Sabah and Sarawak, ultimately had the power to decide who should be the next Agong at their discretion as well as through voting.
Some People Said Sultan Abdullah Is Too Junior To Be Agong
According to political and law analyser, Professor Datuk Dr Abdul Halim Sidek, there is no provision that says that a Sultan has to go through a “waiting” or “probationary” period before he is eligible to be appointed as Agong. As reported by Berita Harian, any Sultan currently presiding on his throne over his state is eligible to be a candidate for the next Agong, in line with Article 32 of the Malaysian Constitution.
Tengku Abdullah’s coronation as the Sultan of Pahang took place on 15 January at Istana Bakar, Pekan.
The Council of Rulers will hold a special meeting on 31 January to discuss the swearing-in ceremonies, said the Keeper of the Royal Seal Tan Sri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad.
[This story has been updated to reflect current events.]