Why is Malaysia’s monarchy so unique compared to other kingdoms?
Instead of following the bloodline, nine royal families use an electoral system to choose the next Malaysian monarch for a five-year term.
The sixth Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Abdullah ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah, center left, and his consort Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, sit on their thrones during their coronation at Istana Abu Bakar Palace in Padang, Malaysia, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019.
Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, of Malaysia’s central Pahang state, was sworn in as the country’s 16th king on Thursday, following the surprise resignation of Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan on January 6.
A Southeast Asian country, located in the Malay peninsula and the island of Borneo, Malaysia is a former British colony, which gained independence in 1963.
A federation made up of 13 states, Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy at both federal and state level.
Officially the king of Malaysia is the head of state, as well as serving as the supreme commander of the armed forces and also serving as the top cleric for the country’s dominant religion Islam. The king is seen as the upholder of both Malay and Islamic values. He, however, has to act in accordance with the will of the cabinet and parliament.
The king’s role in Malaysia is largely ceremonial. Some of his duties include swearing in prime ministers and issuing royal pardons, such as in the case of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim who was convicted of sodomy and corruption, who was released from prison last year.
The king is also responsible for promoting democracy to the federal states. What makes the Malaysian monarchy unique from other countries is that the king is crowned through an election process rather than succession through the bloodline.
Malaysia has nine royal households, who typically take turns to sit on the throne, and the selection of the next king is decided by a vote in the Council of Rulers, made up of all nine royal households.
There are also four state governors who attend the conference but cannot vote.
Nine hereditary sultans from each state take turns to be the monarch, called also ‘yang di-pertuan agong’ for five-year terms.
Although royalty is not directly involved in politics, it does have an influence over the political system.
Candidates and politicians generally try to raise and cultivate support from sultans as a way of influencing the voters.
However, not all politicians have had a good relationship with the monarchy. In the early Nineties, then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad withdrew the sultans’ absolute power to veto state and federal legislation through constitutional amendments.
It even curbed their legal immunity after a series of scandals and incidents involving the royals over the years.
Malaysia’s King Muhammad V abdicated on January 6, after two years on the throne. It is the first time a monarch has stepped down before completing their five-year tenure.
The abrupt departure of Sultan Muhammad V comes weeks after his marriage to a former Russian beauty queen that sparked intense speculation.
However, the palace did not give any explanation of why the king abdicated.
Source: TRT World
In Malaysia’s Covid-19 crisis, even revered royals not spared from public fury, SE Asia News & Top Stories
KUALA LUMPUR – Monday (June 7) marked the second year running that the Covid-19 pandemic has forced Malaysia’s King to forego birthday celebrations that customarily last a week and include the pomp and grandeur of military parade and investiture ceremonies.
But instead of praise or gratitude, some Malaysians have sarcastically expressed faux sympathy for Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah, one of nine hereditary state rulers who rotate as the Agong or Supreme Ruler of the federation and are revered not just as symbols of sovereignty but guardians of Malay culture and Islam.
“Bad enough that the YDPA hasn’t received his vaccine but to also delay his birthday celebration twice? This country has gone to the dogs,” said Twitter user BurhanPlays, referring to Yang di-Pertuan Agong or the King, who reportedly received his Covid-19 jab after he was given some doses of the vaccine by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The claim was rejected by Health Minister Adham Baba, while the Palace remained silent on the matter.
In the past, it was rare to even joke about the monarchy for fear of recrimination. But amid growing desperation over the prolonged coronavirus crisis that has forced Malaysia into yet another lockdown, what were previously normalised privileges for royalty are now seen by many as extravagances at the expense of the public.
“The King, like all key institutions in Malaysia, has come under unprecedented pressure. At a time of heightened political contestation and crises, Malaysians have looked to him and the other rulers to provide a degree of national unity, continuity and stability,” S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies deputy head of policy studies Ariel Tan told The Straits Times.
BurhanPlays’ post made reference to controversial reports in April that Sultan Abdullah of Pahang received 2,000 doses of Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccine, which has yet to be approved by the Malaysian authorities, from UAE and then offered it to friends and family.
The Queen, Tunku Azizah Iskandar, posted on her Instagram account to say she had received both her Covid-19 vaccine doses despite the matter not being reported, unlike the jabs received by other rulers and royal consorts. The post has since been deleted.
When asked separately if Palace chefs received the vaccine, the Queen replied, “Dengki ke (jealous)?”, which sparked widespread fury on social media over what netizen Dafrosty called “candid arrogance after jumping vaccine queue”, in a tweet that was shared over 23,000 times, while the hashtag #Agong trended on Twitter.
The phrase “dengki ke” has now become a popular meme, and one of Malaysia’s foremost political graphic artists, Mr Fahmi Reza, was detained in April under the Sedition Act after creating “This is dengki ke” playlists on Spotify and Apple Music. It featured cover images of the Queen and were filled with songs that contain either “jealous” or “dengki” in their titles and lyrics.
Last week, grassroots opposition figure Iswardy Morni was charged with sedition for insulting the King after broadcasting a video that has been viewed over 100,000 times where he accused the King of not acting to protect his subjects from dying of Covid-19.
Anger also deepened last week after a report revealed that a 41ha mining concession – about half the size of Singapore’s Botanic Gardens – just 3km away from Chini Lake was awarded to a company owned by members of the Kelantan and Pahang royalty, despite the Pahang state government’s pledge to rehabilitate the Unesco Biosphere Reserve.
Amid the furore, the Islamic Development Department published posts telling Muslims that insulting the rulers is forbidden as they are “God’s reflection on earth”, inviting brickbats for its defence of the monarchy.
But perhaps the most lampooned faux pas was when state news agency Bernama posted pictures of Tunku Azizah and the cupcakes she served to medical front-liners. Critics referenced the popular phrase “let them eat cake” attributed to Marie Antoinette, France’s last queen before its revolution at the end of the 18th century. Others pointed out that the Queen’s Van Cleef & Arpels necklace, purportedly worth RM250,000 (S$80,300), could aid front-liners better.
“#DengkiKe openly demonstrated the condescension of the royalty towards the rakyat (population). #DengkiKek shows that they will need more than crumbs to rehabilitate their selfish, arrogant image. We have been talking about our lives, dignity, and safety. They have not been listening,” said communications consultant Lainie Yeoh.
Such vitriol has perhaps not been seen since the early 1990s. Repeated episodes of physical assault by Johor’s royal household prompted Parliament to remove their immunity from prosecution, with MPs making open accusations of criminal acts that went unpunished due to their then immunity from prosecution.
But this time, the rulers appear to have heard the call of their subjects. After Malaysia’s deadliest Covid-19 month in May – which recorded nearly half of the all-time toll of 3,000 – Sultan Abdullah has taken the rare move of summoning leaders of all major political parties for audiences in the coming week in an effort to refocus on defeating the pandemic.
Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Salahuddin Shah – whose own son and nephew are embroiled in a controversial development project involving a forest reserve in their state – also expressed shock on Tuesday (June 8) at the disproportionately low number of vaccine doses the most economically important state has received.
But analysts point out that while the royalty were perceived to be tone deaf during the unprecedented crisis, the sovereigns have little constitutional power to interfere in the handling of the outbreak.
Cultural expert Eddin Khoo dismisses the notion that Malaysia is anywhere close to a revolution as most formal power now resides with politicians.
The co-founder of Pusaka, a non-government organisation that works to protect local traditions, told The Straits Times: “The pandemic isn’t being called the great leveller for nothing.
“Now everything is strewn on the street and out of frustration and anxiety with the failure of the political apparatus on both sides of the divide. People are beseeching what they deem to be institutions of moral authority, their symbolic ‘final refuge’, to do something.”
10 fascinating facts about Asian royalty that you probably never knew
The rise of democracy around the world eventually brought an end to monarchies, leaving only a few countries today which have monarchs as their head of the state. Yet people are still fascinated with the lives of royals.
Wherever they may be from, news of a wedding or crisis in a royal family often makes headlines. This immense interest has also led to the success of films and television serials about royal families — a most recent example being Netflix’s The Crown.
Asia is home to some of the world’s oldest, richest and influential royal dynasties, some of whom have their own share of family squabbles, power struggles and palace intrigues.
Here are 10 fascinating facts about Asian royals & their families you probably never knew about.
The royal family of Japan poses for an official family portrait. (Image credit: Imperial Household Agency/Kyodo News)
Before the 2006 birth of Prince Hisahito, the nephew of Emperor Naruhito and the second in line to the throne, Japanese lawmakers discussed changing the Imperial Household Law to allow women to be crowned ruler of the country. The debate, which continues to this day, now includes the subject of female members of the royal family losing their status if they marry commoners. In November 2020, the government proposed that females would lose their original titles but be granted a new one, — ‘Kojo’ (Japanese for “imperial woman”) — if they tied the knot with commoners.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia pose for a photo during an official meeting. (Image credit: @MofaJapan_en/Twitter)
When the French turned the kingdom into a protectorate in 1863, they forced the then-king Norodom Prohmbarirak to practice Christianity instead of Buddhism. Like in any other colonial state, the rulers of Cambodia were often puppets in the hands of France. In fact, the French overlooked the son of former king Sisowath Monivong and picked his grandson as the successor, believing the latter would be more reasonable. However, that grandson, King Norodom Sihanouk, brought freedom to Cambodia by forming a militia to fight for independence and drawing international attention to his country by arguing that it faced a Communist threat. The current ruler Norodom Sihamoni (pictured, R) is the son of former king Norodom Sihanouk and queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk.
Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan is the wife of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. (Image credit: @queenjetsunpema/Instagram)
In 2011, Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan became the world’s youngest living queen at the age of 21 when she married Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the Druk Gyalpo, or Dragon King, of the landlocked Himalayan country. The Queen is very active on social media, regularly sharing news and photos of the King’s official duties as well as the family on Instagram.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei is one of the richest royals in the world. (Image credit: bnpmo/Facebook)
The official home of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei holds the Guinness world record for the world’s largest residential palace. Designed by Filipino architect Leandro V. Locsin, the palace is spread over an area of 200,000 square metres. The palace has 1,788 rooms and 257 bathrooms. The garage can hold 110 cars and around 200 polo ponies are kept in an air-conditioned stable. Its banquet hall is meant for 5,000 guests. At the time of its completion in 1984, the palace cost around US$1. 4 billion (approximately RM5.64 billion). The Sultan, who has been ruling the Southeast Asian country as an absolute monarch, is the longest reigning ruler after Queen Elizabeth II. He is counted among the richest royals of the world, with an estimated net worth of US$20 to US$28 billion (approximately RM80.56 to RM112.78 billion).
The current ruler of Thailand, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, is the son of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. (Image credit: Associated Press)
King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand is considered the richest royal in the world. In 2019, Business Insider pegged his personal wealth to at least US$30 billion (approximately RM120.84 billion). His father, the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, had been named the richest royal ruler by Forbes in 2011.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah. (Image credit: Bloomberg/Samsul Said)
It is the only country in the world with a system of rotational monarchy. Under this system, the monarchs of nine Malaysian states take turns to become the head of the state of the country every five years. The current ruler, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, was elected by the constitutionally established Council of Rulers in 2019. Known for his simplicity and caring attitude, Sultan Abdullah has often been spotted having meals at ordinary restaurants or breaking protocol by coming to the aid of accident victims on the road.
King Salman is the reigning monarch of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (Image credit: @KingSalman/Twitter)
King Abdulaziz Al-Saud founded the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932. All six subsequent kings, including the current ruler King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (pictured, R), have been his sons. Mohammed bin Salman, one of King Salman’s sons, is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and is widely regarded by observers as the “power behind the throne”. Saudi kings are also recognised as the custodian of the two holy mosques — Al Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. Due to this, the position of the Saudi king in the Islamic world is unique.
Sultan Hamengku Buwono X is the ruler of the Indonesian province of Yogyakarta. (Image credit: Antara/Regina Safri/Republika.co.id)
The country is a democracy with an elected president as the head of the state. However, the province of Yogyakarta continues to be governed by a monarch who is styled as a governor for life under Indonesian law. Sultan Hamengku Buwono X is the current ruler, and thus the governor, of the Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Sultanate. Since the Sultan has no sons, he made his royal title gender-neutral with a decree in 2015, thus indicating that one of his daughters can succeed him. This has sparked controversy, with some people and members of the royal family reportedly unhappy about it.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, the titular Maharaja of Gwalior, is a Member of Parliament from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. (Image credit: Outlook.com)
When India gained freedom from British rule in 1947, there were more than 500 princely states that were still in some control of their fiefdoms. All of these either merged with India or the newly-created Pakistan. India ended the privy purses of the princely states by 1971. Today, royal families continue to exist in parts of the country, such as in the states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, but have no special powers and are treated as ordinary citizens in the eyes of the law. Notwithstanding, they continue to maintain an opulent lifestyle that attracts attention. A few also participate in elections for state or national legislature, such as Jyotiraditya Scindia (pictured), who is the son of former Maharaja of Gwalior the late Madhavrao Scindia. The younger Scindia is a former parliamentarian and a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh.
Gyanendra, the former king of Nepal, gestures during a press conference. (Image credit: Reuters)
In 2001, the world was rocked by a massacre of the royal family of Nepal. The then-ruler, King Birendra, his wife Queen Aishwarya and seven other members of the family were gunned down by Crown Prince Dipendra who then shot himself. Gyanendra (pictured), the brother of King Birendra, ascended the throne and remained in power till he was deposed by Communist revolutionaries in 2008. Monarchy was abolished and the country was turned into a Federal Democratic Republic. King Gyanendra was thus the last ruler of the 240-year-old Shah Dynasty, and Nepal the last Hindu kingdom of the world.
(Main image credit: Bloomberg/Samsul Said)
Malaysia: Artist arrested for ′insulting queen′ with Spotify playlist | News | DW
Malaysian police arrested an artist on Friday for allegedly insulting the queen by posting a satirical playlist online.
The playlist riffed off a recent controversy over the royal family and coronavirus vaccines.
The artist was detained for uploading a playlist featuring a portrait of the queen and songs that included the word “jealously,” senior police official Huzir Mohamed said in a statement.
Spotify censored the playlist and deleted it repeatedly, according to Fahmi Reza.
He said on Twitter that he then uploaded it to Apple Music.
What are the details of the case?
Fahmi was being investigated for breaking Malaysia’s sedition and communications laws. He faces up to three years if convicted under the act, Huzir said.
“Tough action will be taken without any compromise against anyone who intentionally threatens public security,” the police official added.
The artist is set to be released later on Saturday, according to media reports citing his lawyers.
Fahmi is best known for a cartoon depicting former Prime Minister Najib Razak as a clown, which became a symbol of protest in 2018.
Fahmi’s cartoon became a symbol of protest before Razak’s scandal-hit regime lost power in 2018
Why is the playlist ‘insulting’?
According to local media reports, allegations that members of the royal family have received coronavirus vaccines through their connections in the United Arab Emirates sparked backlash.
Queen Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah reportedly responded to online criticism saying, “are you jealous?”
The Instagram account, where the comment was reportedly made, was briefly deactivated and did not have the remarks when reinstated.
Malaysia’s royal family is widely revered. Those deemed to have insulted royalty are often punished.
What about freedom of expression?
Fahmi’s arrest prompted concerns over the worsening state of freedom of expression in Malaysia. Several rights groups condemned his arrest.
Activists gathered in front of the police headquarters on Saturday morning in solidarity with Fahmi, journalist Norman Goh said on Twitter.
Amnesty International Malaysia said satirical works should not be seen as a crime.
“Time and time again, the draconian Sedition Act and CMA are used as a tool by the authorities to silence critical voices and dissent. This needs to stop,” Amnesty said, referring to Malaysia’s Sedition Act and Communications and Multimedia Act.
In 2018, Fahmi was jailed for a month over the ex-prime minister’s cartoon.
fb/mm (AFP, Reuters)
Malaysia’s king works to restore public trust in the monarchy
Dhesegaan Bala Krishnan is a journalist based in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia’s king, Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin, consented to declare a state of emergency earlier this month — the country’s first emergency proclamation since the 1969 racial riots.
Officially, COVID-19 was cited as the reason, but the real intention was to stall the ongoing power struggle that has dominated Malaysian politics since former Prime Minister Najib Razak unexpectedly lost power in the May 2018 general elections.
Many saw the emergency proclamation as a stamp of royal approval for current Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, strengthening his hold on power. Such a scenario might appear plausible, if not for one serious flaw. If the palace did indeed favor Muhyiddin, why has the king declined his advice to declare an emergency in October last year?
Firstly, the king’s consent to an emergency can be seen as a royal rebuke to the United Malays National Organization, or UMNO, and its relentless attempts to snatch back the power it believes to be something of a birthright.
For despite being a part of the ruling Perikatan Nasional coalition, UMNO no longer calls the shots in Putrajaya as it had for over sixty years until its shock 2018 defeat. Instead it is UMNO’s allies — Parti Islam Malaysia, or PAS, and Muhyiddin’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, or Bersatu, both UMNO splinter parties, who feature more prominently in the current government.
To put things into perspective, it is worth revisiting the political events that have transpired in Malaysia since October last year. On Oct. 13, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim met Sultan Abdullah, during which Anwar claimed to have presented documents showing that he commanded a “strong, formidable and convincing” parliamentary majority.
Malaysia’s king Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin, left, and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, pictured inside the Royal Palace on Oct, 13, 2020.
© Malaysian National Palace/AP
The palace, however, affirmed that Anwar had only informed the king that he had the numbers, without revealing the names of the parliamentarians who he claimed were backing him. On the same day, UMNO threatened to withdraw support for Muhyiddin’s government unless the prime minister renegotiated the terms of their coalition agreement.
In response, the king issued a decree, calling on all politicians to display maturity and put the people before their own political ambitions.
Then, on Oct. 23, Muhyiddin advised Sultan Abdullah to declare an emergency to enable his government to effectively combat the pandemic. The king rejected the premier’s advice, instead issuing another royal decree on Oct. 25 urging politicians to cease politicking and to start acting responsibly.
A short time later, however, the king declared an emergency in areas covering the Batu Sapi and Gerik parliamentary seats, as well as the Bugaya state assembly seat in Sabah, in order to defer by-elections after the seats there had been vacated.
A third royal decree followed on Oct. 28, in which the king called for a “political cease-fire,” urging all parliamentarians to fully support the 2021 Budget.
And yet, despite these three royal decrees, UMNO went on to topple the Perak state government which was helmed by the prime minister’s Bersatu party in December. UMNO only agreed to further political cooperation with Bersatu on the condition that UMNO be allowed to lead the new Perak state government.
UMNO’s ruthless political gambit irked Perak’s ruling Sultan Nazrin Shah — Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy consisting of 13 states and three federal territories — and during the swearing-in ceremony of the new Perak Chief Minister — an UMNO member — Sultan Nazrin issued a stern rebuke slamming the swearing-in of the third state government in just two years, saying it was “not a history to be proud of.”
“A pious leader need not offer bribes or gratifications to get support. Neither does he have to intimidate or threaten others for support,” Sultan Nazrin said.
UMNO shrugged off the criticism, neither stopping to regret or repent its win at all costs actions. And earlier this month, UMNO set out to push Muhyiddin from power with a plan to raise a motion to sever ties with Bersatu at the coalition’s general assembly on Jan. 31.
Since the start of the year, two UMNO MPs have withdrawn their support from the ruling coalition, leaving Muhyiddin’s government with a mere 110 seats in the 222-member lower house, which technically means that Malaysia has a hung parliament according to the country’s constitution.
UMNO is also insisting on holding fresh elections by March, although Malaysia will only be receiving the first batch of COVID vaccines next month, and only just enough to vaccinate one million Malaysians out of over 32 million citizens.
Dissolving parliament early would leave a majority of Malaysians vulnerable to the virus, and only the king’s emergency proclamation could checkmate UMNO’s potentially disastrous plan.
UMNO’s relentless lust for power comes at the expense of its own political narrative. Since its inception in 1946, in protest at the British colonial government’s Malayan Union proposal, the party has branded itself as being at the vanguard of the nine sultans who make up Malaysia’s Conference of Rulers, from which a new king is chosen every five years.
The party’s symbol — a Malay-dagger called a keris — is in fact a royal weapon associated with Malaysia’s sultanates. And the party’s continuous attempts to subvert the king’s decrees will certainly not augur well with the party’s grassroots.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s king has rekindled the nation’s reverence and conviction for the monarchy. Sultan Abdullah’s tactful use of his constitutional powers has reassured Malaysians that the Conference of Rulers represents the nation’s interest as a whole.
MALAYSIA Sultan Abdullah installed as the 16th king of Malaysia
The ceremony was attended by about 700 guests including nine Malay rulers, government ministers and foreign dignitaries. Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign performs a largely ceremonial function. The king is elected in rotation: the throne passes from hand to hand every five years.
Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah (photo), Sultan of Pahang, took office this morning as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong (ruler) of Malaysia. A ceremony characterized by Malaysian customs and royal traditions has formally marked the beginning of the five years of his reign.
The sultan, who turns 60 today, was dressed in a ceremonial dress called Muskat – a long black robe decorated with golden embroidery. His wife, Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, wore an ivory white dress and a matching veil.
The royal couple entered Balairung Seri (the Throne Room) of Istana Negara (the National Palace) around 10.45 this morning. About 700 guests, including the nine Malay rulers, government ministers and foreign dignitaries, attended the ceremony broadcast live on state television.
Among the prominent foreign guests were Sheikh Mohamed Zayed Al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei.
Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign performs a largely ceremonial function. The king is elected in rotation: the throne passes from hand to hand every five years, through scrutiny between the rulers of the nine national states, presided over by the Islamic royal family.
Abdullah was proclaimed the sixth Sultan of Pahang on 15 January 2019, replacing his elderly and sick father. The Conference of Rulers elected him king on January 24th. He succeeds to the Sultan of Kelantan, Muhammad V, who resigned last January 6 after just two years on the throne. The renunciation of the throne, the first for Malaysia in modern times, followed the news of the latter’s marriage with a former Russian beauty queen in November, during a two-month medical leave.
Malaysia anoints new king in Sultan Abdullah six months after former monarch’s shock abdication
Malaysia’s sports-loving Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah called for racial unity as he was installed on the throne, six months after the former monarch sensationally abdicated.
- New king Sultan Abdullah was sworn-in at a ceremony seeped in centuries-old Malay tradition
- He called for racial unity among the country’s ethnic Malays and ethnic Chinese and Indian citizens
- Sultan Abdullah is confident the Government can address economic and institutional reform
It was a double celebration for Sultan Abdullah, from central Pahang state, who turned 59 the same day.
He is the country’s 16th king, as chosen under a unique rotating monarchy system.
He was picked as Malaysia’s new ruler in January, after Sultan Muhammad V, from the north-east Kelantan state, abruptly resigned after just two years on the throne in the first abdication in the nation’s history.
Nine ethnic Malay state rulers take turns as king for five-year terms under the world’s only such system, which has been maintained since Malaysia’s independence from Britain in 1957.
In his coronation speech, Sultan Abdullah warned any attempt to sow racial discord in the country was akin to “playing with fire that will burn not only oneself but also burn down the whole village”.
Sultan Abdullah is the country’s 16th king under its rotating monarchy system.(
Malaysia Information Ministry, AP
“Unity and national harmony are the country’s pillars of strength. Do not ever stoke racial misunderstanding by raising matters that can threaten national unity and harmony,” he said.
Wearing black and gold regalia, Sultan Abdullah voiced confidence that Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s Government was able to tackle economic and social challenges in trying to rebuild the country after winning last year’s elections.
A large number of ethnic Malay Muslims, who make up about 60 per cent of Malaysia’s 32 million people, still support the Opposition.
While carrying out economic and institutional reforms, Dr Mahathir’s multiethnic alliance has to quell fears among Malays that their privileges under decades-old affirmative action that favours them in jobs, business and education will be eliminated.
Ethnic Chinese and Indians comprise about 30 per cent of the population.
Dr Mahathir, in his speech, acknowledged minor incidents of racial strife and said the Government had set up an advisory body to strengthen racial unity.
He said the Government would step up efforts to bolster the economy and fight corruption to ensure “no-one is above the law”.
Sultan Muhammad V abdicated earlier this year.(
AP: Yam G-Jun
Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan also attended the ceremony at the national palace, steeped in centuries-old Malay tradition.
British-educated Sultan Abdullah is a prominent figure in sport bodies. He is a council member of the world football governing body FIFA, president of the Asian Hockey Federation, and an executive board member of the International Hockey Federation.
His predecessor Sultan Muhammad V, 49, quit shortly after marrying 25-year-old former Russian beauty queen Oksana Voevodina last November.
Sultan Muhammad, however, has reportedly divorced his wife recently.
Known as the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, or He Who Is Made Lord, Malaysia’s king plays a largely ceremonial role, since administrative power is vested in the prime minister and parliament.
The monarch is highly regarded as the guardian of Islam and Malay tradition, particularly among the Malay Muslim majority. He is also the nominal head of the Government and armed forces.
All laws, cabinet appointments and the dissolution of parliament for general elections require his assent.
The king also issues pardons for criminals.
90,000 The ex-king of Malaysia bitterly regretted his marriage to “Miss Moscow”
Officials from the former supreme ruler of Malaysia and the Sultan of Kelantan said that Muhammad V regrets that he married the winner of the Miss Moscow 2015 beauty pageant Oksana Voevodina. According to a statement from the Kelantan Palace, the sultan believes that news and speculation about his personal life on social networks has caused popular confusion.
Ex-ruler of Malaysia Muhammad V made a statement in which the former monarch admitted that he regrets his decision to marry the queen of the capital’s beauty pageant Oksana Voevodina.The local newspaper New Straits Times reported on the man’s feelings about the situation – a statement on behalf of the Kelantan Palace was published there.
According to the published document, “His Royal Highness the Sultan of Kelantana expresses regret for the decisions made in his personal life, which led to misunderstandings among the Rakyats (citizens of Malaysia – Gazeta.Ru)”. The palace also noted that the former king did not want aspects of his private life “to initiate controversy on social media that is fueled by inauthentic slander.”
Thus, the official representation of a member of the Malaysian royal family urged its citizens not to rely on information received from the yellow press and foreign media. The latter also included the publication of photographs from personal archives
The statement also states that “the lies expressed on social media have dishonored the sultanate controlled by Muhammad V and the entire Kelantan royal family. In the final sentences of the appeal, the Rakyatu was asked to do something else and better “pray for the health and well-being of His Highness’s father, who is not feeling well. “
More recently, for the first time, Oksana Voevodina commented on the divorce from the former king of Malaysia. She described her thoughts on her Instagram. The model said that she did not want to hurt anyone, so she would not name the true reasons for her separation from the former monarch.
“Maybe if I reveal the truth, I will feel better. But I just don’t want to harm anyone, ”Voevodina wrote under a joint photo with her ex-spouse.
It became known this summer, at the end of July, that Muhammad V and the winner of the beauty pageant divorced their marriage.
“His Royal Highness divorced Mrs. Rikhana Oksana Gorbatenko irreversibly on June 22, 2019 by pronouncing the word ‘talak’ three times in accordance with Sharia law,” the official said in a statement.
“Talak” means that a man and a woman can remarry, but only after the ex-wife subsequently marries another man, and he leaves her free – that is, either divorces her or dies.The paper also states that the former king of Malaysia and his wife were divorced, starting on June 22, and she was issued in Singapore. The divorce certificate was issued on July 1. Until this moment, the rumors about the separation of the couple spread in the media did not have any official confirmation.
Oksana and Muhammad met in the spring of 2017 at an event organized by jeweler Jacob Arabo in Europe. Vojvodina also told the story of her acquaintance with the king to her followers on Instagram.
“After the event we went to dinner where I met a man and he introduced himself as the king of Malaysia.I took it as a joke and joked in response that I am also the queen of Moscow, – wrote the model. – We talked all evening and exchanged phone numbers. Soon there was news in the press about the appointment of the king, which was my new acquaintance … “
The next summer they played two different weddings. The first, in June, was in Islamic language, and the second, in November, was held in Barvikha, near Moscow, with a hint of Russian traditions, but with halal food and no alcohol.
From the outside, their union looked like a story of crazy love. Muscovite Oksana converted to Islam and took the name of Rihan Peter, and Muhammad abdicated the throne to return to the state of Kelantan as his sultan. However, rumors of irreconcilable differences between the couple began to circulate at the very beginning of the relationship, from the moment of their first wedding, but were regularly refuted by official representatives and acquaintances of Oksana Voevodina.
At the end of May this year, the model gave birth to a son named Leon, so the news of the couple’s divorce at the beginning of this summer was doubly unexpected.After the official dissolution of the marriage, Miss Moscow-2015 admitted that they got married only because the former ruler dreamed most of all about having their own children.
90,000 the ex-wife of the ex-king of Malaysia Oksana Voevodina complained to the police about the threats – RT in Russian
The Moscow police began an investigation at the request of the ex-wife of the ex-king of Malaysia Muhammad V Oksana Voevodina, who reported the threats. RT was told about this by her representative, human rights activist Ivan Melnikov.According to him, we are talking about the safety of the woman’s son. Voevodina herself told RT that due to threats she was forced to change her place of residence and now very much hopes for the help of law enforcement agencies.
The owner of the title “Miss Moscow – 2015”, the ex-wife of the ex-king of Malaysia, Oksana Voevodina, turned to the metropolitan police with a statement about the threats coming to her address. As her representative, human rights activist Ivan Melnikov, told RT, in mid-October an unknown woman sent a message to Voevodina’s father and asked for an urgent meeting, justifying this need by the fact that the son of the ex-wife of the king Leon was allegedly in mortal danger.
According to Melnikov, Oksana was unable to attend the meeting, and instead of her a friend met an unknown person, who recorded the entire conversation.
During the conversation, the woman stated several times that Leon was in mortal danger, and Voevodina could prevent a threat to his life by withdrawing his claim against his ex-spouse to recover alimony and stopping appearances in the media.
“After this conversation, Oksana wrote a statement to the police that, on the basis of Art.144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, this information was checked, the legality of the actions of this citizen, as well as reports of an impending crime against a minor, ”explained Ivan Melnikov.
An RT source at the Moscow Interior Ministry’s Main Directorate confirmed the fact that Oksana Voevodina had filed a threat statement. According to an interlocutor in law enforcement agencies, the document was sent to the Internal Affairs Directorate for the Central Administrative District for a pre-investigation check, following which a procedural decision will be made.
The marriage of the then supreme ruler of Malaysia Muhammad V with the owner of the title “Miss Moscow – 2015” Oksana Voevodina became known in the summer of 2018.First, the lovers registered their relationship in the homeland of the groom, and then in the fall they arranged a luxurious wedding in Moscow. The party was held in Barvikha, and the guests were advised to keep everything secret. However, photos from the celebration still leaked to the Internet.
At the ceremony, the girl was dressed in a white fluffy dress, and the groom was dressed in a traditional Malaysian costume. There was no alcohol on the tables, since the ceremony took place according to Muslim traditions.
It was reported that for the sake of this wedding Vojvodina converted to Islam and took the name Rihan.However, she never became queen, because soon after the wedding, Muhammad V abdicated the throne.
The newlyweds stated in the media that the abdication of the throne did not affect their relationship in any way and they are still together. On May 21, 2019 Oksana Voevodina gave birth to a son. The boy was born in a German clinic and received the name Tenku Ismail Leon Petra Bin Tenku Muhammad V Faris Petra.
A month later it became known that Muhammad V and Voevodina filed for divorce and the former king flatly refuses to recognize paternity.
“It all started before my son was born”
“It all started before my son was born. At first, my ex-husband’s personal assistant tried to find out the address of my friend and asked her not to tell me that they asked her about it. Of course, my friend told me everything. On the day my son was born, instead of flowers and congratulations, I received a whole stack of documents, which said that if someone found out about the birth of my son, then my ex-husband would not pay child support.Of course, I didn’t sign any documents, “Voevodina told RT.
According to her, she turned for advice to her friend, who has great authority among the Muslims of Russia.
“He recommended that I announce the birth of an heir on my own and was very worried that if this was not done, then we could be harmed. I followed his advice. After that, I saw my divorce certificate on the Internet. I realized that my son was interfering with Kelantan. We don’t know what yet, ”Oksana explained.
The woman added that she and her son are now forced to hide.
“After the next threats from a woman I did not know, I thought for a long time about our safety with Leon and made a decision for myself to move from Moscow to another, more secure, in my opinion, place. What – I, of course, do not intend to divulge. I hope for the help, assistance and protection of our law enforcement agencies and the state. I ask you to check on the fact of incoming threats and take appropriate measures, “Voevodina said to RT.
90,000 Miss Moscow dishonored the royal family: the king of Malaysia regrets his marriage to Voevodina
The marriage of Miss Moscow 2015 Oksana Voevodina with the King of Malaysia Muhammad V did not last long, but its consequences are still widely discussed, even a year after the divorce.
Muhammad V recently announced that he regrets his marriage to a Russian beauty. Speculation about his personal life on social media has caused popular confusion, according to an official statement from the Kelantan Palace.
“His Royal Highness the Sultan of Kelantana regrets the decisions in his personal life that led to misunderstandings among the Rakyats (citizens of Malaysia) … the lies expressed on social media disgraced the sultanate, controlled by Muhammad V, and the entire Kelantan royal family. In the final proposals of the appeal, the Rakyatu was offered to do something else and better “pray for the health and well-being of His Highness’s father, who is not feeling well,” write the official representatives of the ex-king.They also add that Muhammad V did not want aspects of his private life “to initiate controversy on social media, which is fueled by inauthentic slander.”
The king’s representatives urge the citizens of Malaysia not to believe the information that is published in the yellow press and social networks.
Oksana Voevodina herself briefly commented on her divorce: “Maybe if I reveal the truth, I will feel better. But I just don’t want to harm anyone, ”Voevodina wrote under a joint photo with her ex-spouse.
But then Oksana became more eloquent. The girl gave more than one interview, in which she spoke about the true reasons for the divorce, and how her relationship with the king of Malaysia is now developing.
Muhammad V refuses to recognize his son. He also assured Oksana that she was his first wife, but in reality this turned out to be untrue. Voevodina someone sends anonymous threats, in her opinion, this is done not by the king himself, but by members of the royal family.
“They do not come entirely from my ex-husband, but from other sources.It seems to me that these are palace games. They have already had situations in the family when there was a struggle for the throne, ”says Oksana on the air of the Dok-Tok show.
Voevodina even had to acquire a license to carry weapons, as she fears for herself and her son.
But, despite all the troubles, the beauty does not lose heart and tries to rebuild her life on the ruins of family happiness:
“A year ago I thought that I would not survive with the child inside. Six months ago I was very offended and bad, but I started working and doing business, and after a couple of months I got so carried away that I finally appreciated the taste of freedom. “
90,000 Goldman Sachs facing criminal charges
The Malaysian Attorney General’s Office on Monday filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs for its role in the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB scandal. She intends to fine the American investment bank more than $ 3 billion and sentence those responsible to prison for up to 10 years, Attorney General Tommy Thomas said in a statement.
Authorities accuse Goldman Sachs bankers of bribery of Malaysian officials in order to get an order to arrange placement of 1MDB bonds in the amount of $ 6.5 billion in 2012 and 2013.According to the prosecutor’s office, $ 2.7 billion of this amount was misused, and Goldman Sachs received another $ 600 million in commissions. Therefore, Thomas said that the prosecutor’s office intends to fine the bank in an amount “significantly exceeding” these $ 3.3 billion.
In addition, the prosecutor’s office will seek imprisonment for the participants in the fraudulent scheme. They are, according to her, the former top managers of the bank Tim Leissner and Roger Ng, who at that time were in charge of the local division of Goldman Sachs, as well as the former general counsel of 1MDB Jasmine Lu Ai and Malaysian financier Joe Lowe.They face up to 10 years in prison. Moreover, in early November, the US Department of Justice had already indicted Leissner, Ng and Lowe in conspiracy to withdraw billions of dollars from 1MDB, the Financial Times reported. Leissner has already pleaded guilty to US charges, Ng was arrested in Malaysia, and the whereabouts of Lou and Lowe are unknown, writes Bloomberg.
Goldman Sachs intends to challenge the allegations of the Malaysian authorities. “We are confident that these accusations are misdirected. We will resolutely defend ourselves and look for an opportunity to present our point of view, – said a bank representative (quoted by FT).”We continue to cooperate with all departments investigating this case.”
The scandal around the 1MDB sovereign fund erupted in 2015, when information appeared about the alleged withdrawal of $ 4.5 billion from it. At the same time, $ 681 million transferred from the fund’s accounts were found on the accounts of then Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak. Razak claimed that these were donations from the royal family of Saudi Arabia and that he later returned most of the funds. But this year he lost the election and the new government launched an anti-corruption investigation.In August, Razak was charged with money laundering, on which he could face virtually life imprisonment, FT wrote. Razak denies his guilt.
The authorities of 10 countries are investigating the withdrawal of funds from 1MDB. In November, the Abu Dhabi Sovereign Investment Fund (IPIC) and its subsidiary Aabar filed a lawsuit against Goldman Sachs in New York, claiming that the bank conspired with other companies to bribe former IPIC and Aabar executives “to develop criminal schemes, and also for the personal benefit of Goldman Sachs. “Abu Dhabi believes the bank played a key role in the 1MDB fraud.
People and organizations from different countries and spheres were involved in the 1MDB scandal. For example, Red Granite, one of the producers of the film “The Wolf of Wall Street” with Leonardo DiCaprio, led by Razak’s adopted son, was accused of receiving funds withdrawn from the fund. It also turned out that the funds missing from 1MDB were used to buy paintings on the art market.
Persian and Arab influences in Thai noble culture
We invite you to follow the release of articles “Culture” on various topics.Knowing and appreciating these topics helps to preserve and disseminate elements of our common Silk Road heritage.
Southeast Asia, also known as the Indochina Peninsula on the Maritime Silk Road, has historically been a region characterized by a thriving cultural activity and a diversity of thought. Thanks to active trade relations, religious exchanges, the royal court of Thailand, as well as the entire region and its indigenous population, have been significantly changed. An important catalyst for change has been the continuous influx of those originating from the Indian subcontinent and the Arab regions.Due to transnational cultural variability, craftsmanship and technology, the region has developed strong creative relationships with other important international cultural centers and trade routes. Thus, the free flow and exchange of music has positively impacted the visual arts industry by borrowing and adapting culture, music and musical instruments from other countries. This often led to the creation of completely new musical instruments. These instruments were mainly borrowed from neighboring regions such as Java and Malaysia, as well as from the Persian and Arab regions.
By the 9th century, the level of cultural diversity in the region of Southeast Asia had increased markedly. Art, language, religion and music have been borrowed, reconstructed and transformed by the royal court of Thailand. Art often reflected religious beliefs, including traditional songs and music. Music has always played a major role in religion and religious practices, often used during royal ceremonies, festivals and cremations. In Thailand, they exchanged musical creativity – songs and instruments, and then were adapted by local craftsmen with local customs.Moreover, during the Ayutthaya period (1351-1767), the Persians began to settle in the region and sometimes held official positions at court. Four renowned Persian artists, including Nai Verkau, Nai Krupa, Nai Pramannadri and Nai Erakabi, have been recognized for their rank and service. Subsequently, the Thai royal family adopted some elements of Persian culture, including social functions, language, customs, clothing and music.
The flow of cultural exchanges not only had a significant impact on music, but also on the form of musical instruments.This ultimately added a melodic interpretation of regional songs. In fact, many Thai songs are named “Khaek”, whose etymology and subsequent linguistic transformation refer to foreign as well as Muslims in the Indian subcontinent, Persian and Arab regions. Following complex rhythmic patterns and complex phraseology, these songs were important to Thai music and became the standard by which lyrics and music developed. Throughout the history of Thai music, wall paintings have provided invaluable documentary evidence.These art murals offer detailed historical evidence and serve as true representations of reality. Thai muralists often painted scenes of daily life, and those from oral history have been passed down through the generations. Artists effectively used this artistic environment to highlight religion, music and court life, in particular with the participation of the Mahori musical ensembles, which included only women.
The murals thus serve as reliable narrative sources that document the evolution of society through depictions of Thai daily life and cultural traditions.Muslim murals show that their instruments were very similar to those of Thailand, such as the Saw Sam Sai, the three-stringed onion lute, the Ramana drum, and the Thap (known as Nathap in Thai). The use of “Thap” spread throughout Southeast Asia, and its form was eventually changed in Thailand to effectively demonstrate the skill of the musicians. In addition, Saw Sam Sai, known in musical ensembles, is considered the “King of Instruments”. Crafted by skilled craftsmen, these instruments have often been considered works of art throughout the world and cherished as such.They were sometimes elaborately decorated with mother-of-pearl inlays, ivory and shiny black lacquer, covered with delicate ornaments of gold leaves, confirming their cultural significance in Thai life. Their historical significance to the Thai people persists even in modern society.
The Evolution of Sericulture along the Silk Roads
The Transformative Power of Tea
Classical Arabic Literature
Regional Variations in Coinage and the Monetary System
Paths of New Beliefs
The Art of Manuscript Bookmaking along the Silk Roads
Q & A with Mr.Ali Moussa-Iye during the Pasarela de las Artes Event in Valencia, Spain
Batik for the World Exhibition at UNESCO
Sindhi Aesthetic Impulses and Cultural Expressions
Stylistic Origins of Kashmiri Artistic Traditions
The Diversity of Cultural Influences in Kushan Art
Imitation and Inspiration: The Transformation of Porcelain along the Silk Roads
The Art of Kyrgyz Traditional Felt Carpets
UNESCO Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads Photo Contest
UNESCO Silk Roads Project
90,000 Estonian model killed on a beach in Malaysia after having an affair with a member of the royal family
Global Look Press
Malaysian police establish the circumstances of the mysterious death of the Baltic beauty, who, according to rumors, was the beloved of the Malaysian prince
Global Look Press
Initially, the police believed that the girl could drown.However, her death was subsequently qualified as murder, since suspicious wounds were found on the body of the “drowned” model
Global Look Press
The Estonian woman died on the day of her arrival on the island.The last to see her was the live hotel staff. The girl walked along the shore near the pier
Global Look Press
The Malaysian police establish the circumstances of the mysterious death of the Baltic beauty, who, according to rumors, was the beloved of the Malaysian prince.The corpse of 30-year-old Estonian Regina Soosalu was found on July 1 on one of the beaches of Pulau Rava Island in Johor state, local newspaper The Star writes.
Additional intrigue to the incident is given by the fact that the island of Pulau Rava is a private territory related to the royal family of Johor. The Johor Sultanate has existed since the 16th century, and the current Temengong dynasty has ruled the state since the century before last.
Initially, the police believed that Regina Soosalu could drown.However, her death was subsequently qualified as a murder, since suspicious wounds were found on the body of the “drowned” model.
The Estonian woman died on the day of her arrival on the island, and her death was officially announced only five days later. The hotel workers were the last to see the girl. She walked along the shore near the pier.
Regina Soosalu had a close relationship with the Malaysian prince Tengu Alan Reza Ibrahim, which lasted for the past two years. The island of Pulau-Rava became the place of secret meetings with the beloved.
However, in recent months, their relationship has soured, eyewitnesses say. More than once, the couple publicly sorted out the relationship, and it came to fights.
Six people have already been detained as part of the investigation into the murder of a foreign woman. But it is not yet clear if there is a representative of the Johor royal family among them.
According to 28-year-old Josiya Mizukami, Regina Soosalu lived in Kuala Lumpur and rarely spoke to her Estonian relatives. At the same time, she regularly visited the island of Pulau Rava, spending her holidays there.
Mizukami added that he met Soosalu six years ago when they started their entertainment careers in Thailand together.
Earlier, on the ill-fated island of Pulau-Rava, there have already been incidents involving members of the ruling dynasty. In May 2012, royal bodyguards attacked four tourists who boarded the local sultan’s boat.
And in 2005, a prince from the Johor clan was accused of organizing a group attack on the wedding of a Brazilian couple and beating up guests with golf clubs.Then the police detained several people, including the prince.
We add that just the other day, the court of the Malaysian city of Kuantan passed a death sentence in the case of the murder of French tourist Stephanie Foray. A 30-year-old woman went missing on Taiomen Island in May 2011. Three months later, her mummified remains were found in one of the caves, writes The Malay Mail Online . A 39-year-old businessman who owns a store, Asni Omar, was involved in this massacre.
And the British tourist Gareth Huntley disappeared on the same island on May 27 when he left to watch the waterfall.His decomposing corpse was found a week later. The publication does not write about the causes of death.
90,000 Topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge published in France
September 14, 2012.
/ 46TV /.
The eldest grandson of British Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, are outraged by the publication of photographs by a French magazine in which Kate is sunbathing topless.
The French magazine Closer claims that the photographs were taken last week while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were vacationing at a castle in France at the house of William’s great-uncle Lord Linley.
According to the BBC Paris bureau, the photographs are heavily blurred and taken from a long distance. But it is obvious that they are really William and Kate. In some of the pictures, the duchess is actually shot with topless. There are shots in which she is photographed from the back, without the top of a swimsuit, next to her husband.
Photos of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge occupy four pages of the magazine.
William and Keith are currently on an official visit to Asia. The spouses were informed about the publication in the magazine at breakfast in the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.
It turned out that British newspapers were offered to publish these photos last week, but they refused.
The couple are reported to be “upset and disappointed” at what they perceive to be a violation of their privacy.
Prince William saw how difficult his mother, Princess Diana’s, relations with the press developed. He believes that the actions of the paparazzi in Paris partly led to her death.
He wants to shield his wife from the worst practices of some reporters.
The royal family, which recently had to go through the scandal with the publication of photographs of naked Prince Harry, will have to decide how to react to what happened.
It is possible that they will decide to leave everything as it is, and leave the public to judge what should happen in the head of a person who photographs a woman sunbathing on the territory of a private estate.
As reported by the BBC at the Royal Court Peter Hunt, “William and Kate are furious. They think the magazine has crossed the line.”
Representatives of the court emphasize that the spouses have deliberately chosen the most secluded place to relax.
An ITV correspondent in Malaysia quotes a royal family official as saying that “the blood is boiling – this is exactly what killed [Prince William’s mother Princess] Diana.”