The King of Malaysia has abdicated after just two years on the throne, becoming the first person in the country’s history to resign before completing their five-year tenure.
No reason has been given for Sultan Muhammad V’s resignation, which takes effect immediately.
Last year the 49-year-old king married a beauty queen 24 years his junior, who rose to fame after being named Miss Moscow in 2015 at the age of 22.
Oksana Voevodina, now 25, became the first lady of Malaysia following the couple’s lavish wedding in November, after reportedly converting to Islam earlier in the year.
Speaking before the wedding, Oksana – who has worked as a model in China and Thailand, and has posed in revealing pictures – said:
A statement released by the palace said:
“His Highness has worked towards fulfilling his responsibilities entrusted to him as the head of state, serving as a pillar of stability, source of justice, the core of unity … for the people.
The selection of the next king can be decided by a vote in the Council of Rulers, made up of all nine royal households.
The palace statement said the king was grateful for the opportunity given to him by the Council of Rulers and thanked the prime minister and government.
The resignation comes just a week after the King returned to work after spending two months on medical leave.
Photos which reportedly show him getting married in Russia appeared on social media in December, but the Palace has not commented on them.
The wedding was alcohol-free and all food was halal.
Malaysia has nine royal households, who typically take turns to sit on the throne.
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