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Malaysia's new King, Sultan Muhammad V (L) looks on during the official welcoming ceremony at Parliament Square, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 13 December 2016. Sultan Muhammad V is the 15th Malaysian King. The appointment is rotated among nine of Malaysia's 13 states that have hereditary royal rulers. EPA/FAZRY ISMAIL
EPA/Fazry Ismail
The new king.

Photos: Malaysia inaugurates its new king in a lavish ceremony

Echo Huang
By Echo Huang


In Malaysia, even the monarchy has term limits.

The country’s unique constitutional monarchy ensures there’s a new ruler at the throne every five years. The ceremonial ruler is rotated among nine of 13 states that have hereditary royal rulers.

In a lavish ceremony at Kuala Lumpur’s national palace on Dec. 13, 47-year-old Sultan Muhammad V became the 15th king of Malaysia. The ceremony, which was attended by prime minister Najib Razak (who is currently embroiled in a massive corruption scandal) and hundreds soldiers and Islamic prayers, was televised nationally.

Educated in the UK, the new king has a love of extreme sports such as four-wheel drive expeditions and shooting. He married Tengku Zubaidah Tengku Norudin from a royal family in Thailand’s Pattani in 2004, but the marriage ended in a divorce.

Here are photos from the ceremony:

AP/Vincent Thian
Sultan Muhammad V, in gold formal wear, at his welcome ceremony at Parliament Square in Kuala Lumpur.
EPA/Fazry Ismail
Malaysian guards of honor prepare for the ceremony of the new Malaysian king.
AP/Vincent Thian
Sultan Muhammad V gives a salute as he walks with Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, right, at the Parliament House.
AP/Vincent Thian
Sultan Muhammad V, left, chats with Razak, right, and deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, center, after his ceremony.
EPA/Fazry Ismail
Razak during the ceremony welcoming the new Malaysian king.
EPA/Fazry Ismail
Malaysia’s new king, right, with Rosmah Mansor (Razak’s wife), Razak, second from left, and Hamidi, left, praying during the welcoming ceremony.
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