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Malaysia Crowns New Youthful King

  • Associated Press

Sultan Muhammad V, center, salutes after his welcome ceremony as he walks with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, right, at the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Dec. 13, 2016.

Malaysia's new king, a 47-year-old state sultan, ascended the throne Tuesday, becoming one of the youngest constitutional monarch in the Southeast Asian nation's history.

Sultan Muhammad V took his oath of office in a nationally televised ceremony attended by hundreds of dignitaries at a cavernous hall in Malaysia's federal palace.

Under a unique system maintained since Malaysia's independence from Britain in 1957, nine hereditary state rulers take turns as the country's king for five-year terms.

The monarch's role is largely ceremonial, since administrative power is vested in the prime minister and Parliament. But he is highly regarded, particularly among the ethnic Malay Muslim majority, as the supreme upholder of Malay tradition and symbolic head of Islam.

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