It’s not every day that a King gets to inherit a monarchy twice in his life, but Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah can say he did. The 84 year old assumed the Malaysian throne Tuesday in accordance to his country’s electoral monarchy system.
Every five years, the Sultans of Malaysia’s nine states vote on who would be next to be the head of state. The last time Sultan Abdul Halim was the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia was in 1970. This is the first time in Malaysian history that someone became head of state for the second time.
The newest leader hails from the northern state of Kedah. He enjoys football/soccer and likes listening to Frank Sinatra.
Tuesday saw Sultan Abdul Halim and his wife, Queen Haminah, attend the ceremony of his enthronement. He inspected a military honor guard and received a 21-gun salute at Parliament. The Sultan was then sworn in to the office.
He is not only Malaysia’s 14th King, but also its oldest ever.
Although the role of King is largely ceremonial, he is looked upon by Muslim Malaysians as a symbol of Islam. He is also seen as the upholder of Malaysian traditions.
“The King is the umbrella to the people and the people are the pillars of the King,” Sultan Abdul Halim said in comments issued through the national news agency, Bernama. “The King’s greatest role is to ensure there will be no cruelty and destruction to the people and to the country.”
The term Yang di-Pertuan Agong literally means “He who is made Lord”. But it is usually translated as “Supreme Ruler”.