KUALA LUMPUR: The Pahang royal household will meet this week to discuss the possibility of Regent of Pahang Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah ascending as sultan of Pahang.
The proposal, if accepted, would see Tengku Abdullah’s installation as the sixth modern sultan of Pahang on Friday and effectively pave the way for his election as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, based on the rotation system.
Sources said Sultan of Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah, 88, was informed of the meeting.
“The matter (proposal to install Tengku Abdullah as sultan) was submitted by several influential family members and advisers in the royal house. Sultan Ahmad has been informed of the matter.
“The meeting on the abdication will be held this week. It is to be attended only by close family members and advisers. The sultan is unwell. Tengku Abdullah has been handling state matters in his father’s stead.
“Based on the rotation system, it is Pahang’s turn to be the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after Kelantan. We wish to respect the rotation system,” said a royal source.
Under the Pahang constitution, the succession of rulers could take place if the sultan consents to relinquish his rights and powers.
The abdication must be accompanied by a warrant to acknowledge the relinquishing of powers, signed and stamped with the state’s seal by the outgoing ruler.
The signing of the warrant must be witnessed by the menteri besar and the state secretary. The warrant would then be declared in the government gazette and to the people in the state.
Aides to Tengku Abdullah and the sultan’s office in Pekan declined to comment due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Sources said Sultan Ahmad was here for treatment at the National Heart Institute. He was discharged two weeks ago and is residing at Istana Pahang in Bukit Kewangan here.
Tengku Abdullah is returning from London to attend the meeting, which is expected to take place at Istana Pahang.
On Monday, the Conference of Rulers fixed Jan 24 for a meeting to select the new king and Jan 31 for the oath-taking ceremony, following an unprecedented move by Sultan Muhammad V to step down on Sunday.
In terms of monarch seniority in the rotation system, Pahang ranks seventh out of nine states. Sultan Ahmad was the seventh king elected in 1979.
Following the possible ascension of Tengku Abdullah as sultan, constitutional expert Associate Professor Dr Shamrahayu Ab Aziz said one’s seniority as a ruler was not a criterion to be made king.
“You need to be a sultan before you can be king, regardless of seniority at the state’s throne. This can be seen in the election of Sultan Muhammad V as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong in 2016 despite being sultan only in 2010.
“The same goes for the rotation system. It is only during the first rotation (which began in 1957) that the seniority of rulers was implemented in guiding the selection process.” --Additional reporting by T.N. Alagesh