(File pix) Sultan Muhammad V is the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong in Malaysian history to step down from the throne. EPA Photo

KUALA LUMPUR: Sultan Muhammad V is the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong in Malaysian history to step down from the throne.

His resignation as the 15th King was announced by the Comptroller of the Royal Household, Datuk Wan Ahmad Dahlan Abdul Aziz, yesterday evening.

Sultan Muhammad V – who took his oath of office on Dec 13, 2016 and was installed as King on April 24, 2017 – is one of just a handful of paramount leaders not to have served their full five-year terms.

The Yang di-Pertuan Besar Negri Sembilan Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman, who was the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong of the Federation Of Malaya, died in office on April 1, 1960. He had been installed as King on Merdeka day.

Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah Al-Haj, who was elected to be his successor on April 14, 1960, died just hours before he was installed as the second Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Sept 1, 1960.

The Sultan of Selangor Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, who was to serve as the 11th Yang di-Pertuan Agong beginning April 26, 1999, died on Nov 21, 2001.

Speculation on the position of Sultan Muhammad V began to swirl when the New Straits Times reported that the Conference of Rulers had held a secret meeting after Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Nazrin Shah, who had been performing the duties of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, completed his obligations on Dec 31, 2018.

Sultan Nazrin had stepped in for Sultan Muhammad V who went on leave for two months, beginning Nov 2, to undergo medical treatment.

On Nov 24, foreign media reported that Sultan Muhammad V had married abroad, but there was no official announcement from the palace on the matter.