Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s new king called for equality for all in the multi-ethnic Asian nation as he was enthroned on Wednesday in a lavish ceremony steeped in centuries-old royal traditions.
Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, 84, who was king previously in the 1970s, became the first person to hold the position twice under Malaysia’s unique rotating monarchy.
The Oxford-educated king is a lover of jazz, football, polo and golf.
The king, known as Yang di-Pertuan Agong or “He Who Is Made Lord”, formally took office in a televised ceremony in the yellow carpet throne room of the new hilltop palace in the capital Kuala Lumpur.
Prime Minister Najib Razak proclaimed Sultan Abdul Halim the 14th king, before an audience of other Malaysian sultans, government ministers and foreign dignitaries.
The monarch, dressed in black and yellow royal regalia, made of wool and embroidered with gold threads, was presented with a Koran and then with the royal long dagger — a symbol of power and authority — which the king drew and kissed.
He then took an oath of office to rule Malaysia in a fair manner, uphold the Islamic faith and ensure a just government.
In his speech, Sultan Abdul Halim praised Najib’s leadership and reminded the government to ensure prosperity for all Malaysians.
“All Malaysians have equal rights ….It is my wish to see all Malaysians gain from the country’s development,” he said.