Kuala Lumpur: Sultan Muhammad V stepped down as Malaysia’s king on January 6, Sunday. Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Wan Ahmad Dahlan Abdul Aziz said, “In discharging the wishes of His Majesty Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V, Istana Negara hereby announces that His Majesty is abdicating as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong effective Jan 6, 2019, pursuant to Article 32 (3) of the Federal Constitution.”

Wan Ahmad Dahlan said Sultan Muhammad V expressed his gratitude to the Malay Rulers, who elected him as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Dec 13, 2016. Aziz also expressed his appreciation for Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the government for their cooperation in governing the country.

“During his tenure as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, His Majesty worked to fulfil his responsibilities and the trust placed in him as the head of state, serving as the pillar of stability, the source of justice and as an umbrella of the solidarity and unity of the people,” said Wan Ahmad Dahlan.

Comptroller Aziz said that Sultan Muhammad V, as the supreme commander of the Malaysian Armed Forces, was proud of the sacrifices and devotion towards him and the country over the years. “His Majesty hopes that all Malaysians will continue to stay united, tolerant and in agreement in shouldering the responsibility to safeguard the country’s sovereignty so that Malaysia will remain in peace and harmony,” he said.

Rumours of the abdication were circulating online earlier in the week, although PM Mahathir had said he had not receive official word on the matter prior to this.