Malaysia’s new king will be sworn in on Jan 31 – here’s what we know about Pahang ruler Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah

Malaysia’s incoming king – Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah – is married to Tengku Puan Pahang Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Almarhum Almutawakkil Alallah Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj.
Instagram / Iman Abdullah

The Sultan of Pahang – Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah – has been elected the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, replacing Sultan Muhammad V who abruptly abdicated the throne on Jan 6.

The 59-year-old, who will be sworn in on Jan 31, was picked during a special meeting of the Conference of Rulers on Jan 24 to reign for the next five years. Malaysia follows a unique rotation system involving the nine Malay royal houses.

Sultan Abdullah had recently become Pahang’s sixth monarch, around a week before the decision was made. He replaced his 88-year-old father Ahmad Shah, who reigned for nearly 45 years, as the latter was suffering from poor health, reported The Star.

Read also: Sultan Muhammad V is Malaysia’s first king to abdicate the throne – here are highlights from his 2-year reign

Here’s what we know about Malaysia’s new king-to-be.

Educated in Malaysia and UK

Born on July 30, 1959 at Istana Mangga Tunggal, Malaysia’s incoming king attended schools in Malaysia up until he graduated from secondary school, when he went to the UK to further his studies.

He attended pre-school at the Clifford School in Kuala Lipis (1965), primary school at Sekolah Kebangsaan Ahmad in Pekan and Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan St Thomas in Kuantan (1966-1969), and secondary school at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan St Thomas (1970-1974), according to Bernama.

After graduating, he enrolled into Aldenham School, Elstree, Hertfordshire in the UK and Davies College in London (1975 to 1977).

Sultan Abdullah then entered The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (1978-1979) and Worcester College and Queen Elizabeth College (1980-1981), where he attained a diploma in International Relations and Diplomacy.

Heavily involved in sports scene

Sultan Abdullah is known to be actively involved in the sports scene – especially football. According to a Bernama report carried by New Straits Times, besides being a polo player and footballer himself, he is also is a council member of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) and member of the FIFA Executive Committee. He was also the president of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) from 2014 to 2017.

Bernama also reported that he is currently president of the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF), and president of the Royal Malaysian Polo Association, Royal Pahang Polo Club, Pahang Squash Club, Royal Pahang Golf Club and Royal Pahang Shooting Club.

Many military titles to his name

Apart from being involved in sports, Sultan Abdullah has also carved a name for himself in the military.

At The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, he was made a Second Lieutenant and commissioned by Queen Elizabeth II in 1980, according to Bernama.

He was also previously the Captain of the Malaysian Royal Cavalry Corps and appointed as Lieutenant Colonel of the 505 Territorial Army Regiment in 1999. In 2000, he was appointed Colonel of the 505 Territorial Army Regiment, and eventually became the Brigadier General of the 505 Territorial Army Regiment in 2004.

Has nine children

Sultan Abdullah – the fourth child and eldest prince of Sultan Ahmad Shah and the late Tengku Ampuan Afzan Tengku Muhammad – is married to 59-year-old Tengku Puan Pahang Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Almarhum Almutawakkil Alallah Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj, reported Bernama.

The royal couple has nine children – four sons and five daughters.

One of his daughters – Pahang Princess Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan – posted pictures of her parents on Instagram after Sultan Abdullah was elected the 16th Yang di-­Pertuan Agong.

The 25-year-old wrote in the caption of a photo of her parents togethe: “Daulat Tuanku (long live the king)” with the hashtag #YDPA16.


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Read also: ‘Hot prince’: A new sultan for Pahang, but some Malaysian netizens are focused on its handsome prince instead

Sultan Abdullah’s eldest son Tengku Panglima Besar Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah – who is currently undergoing training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Britain – also posted on his Instagram account, “For Allah, For King and for the country”, reported The Star.

He is set to be proclaimed as Tengku Mahkota Pahang.

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