Malaysia King is a 'walking encyclopaedia', says chief minister

The 15th king of Malaysia, Sultan Muhammad V.
PHOTO: AFP

MALACCA - Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V is a "walking encyclopaedia," said Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron.

Speaking of the King's three-day visit to Malacca, Idris said that he felt that he had to listen closely to gain knowledge on certain subjects.

"We spoke in the Queen's English throughout the three days and I could gain a lot of knowledge from the King, so I took the opportunity to get answers on certain topics," said Idris.

Speaking after chairing the state's weekly exco meeting at Seri Negeri here on Wednesday, Idris added that the King's command of English is impeccable.

Malaysia enthrones new king

  • Malaysia installed its 15th king, Sultan Muhammad V, a relatively youthful monarch known for his fondness for four-wheel driving and other extreme sports.
  • In a ceremony steeped in pomp and centuries of tradition, the 47-year-old Sultan, dressed in gold-coloured traditional Malay formal wear, took the oath of office in the national palace in Kuala Lumpur.
  • The ceremony, marked by honour guards and Islamic prayers, was televised nationally and attended by Prime Minister Najib Razak and hundreds of guests decked out in Islamic finery.
  • Sultan Muhammad V, currently the ceremonial ruler of the conservative Islamic northern state of Kelantan, takes the national throne under the rotating monarchy in place since independence from Britain in 1957.
  • In a unique arrangement, the throne of the Muslim-majority country changes hands every five years between the rulers of the nine Malaysian states still headed by Islamic royalty.
  • Sultan Muhammad V replaces Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah from the northern state of Kedah, now 89, who was king previously in the 1970s and became the first person to hold the position twice.

He added that his conversations with the King covered various topics including engineering, medicine, aeronautics, maritime issues and culture.

"His Majesty gave me a tour on various types of aircraft and the velocity of boats and their ability to cruise in the Malacca River based on their model and engine capacity," said Idris.

He added that he learned from the King about how whales communicate in the deep ocean and about various species of marine creatures.

Idris also said that he felt nervous as it was the first time he was hosting royalty in Malacca.

"At the end of the day, I enjoyed every moment with the King, who is not only young and vibrant but has vast knowledge and immaculate English grammar," said Idris.

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