Malaysia’s new king Sultan Ibrahim ascends to the throne
In a royal blue uniform, with gold-plated sabre in his hand, the 65-year-old monarch arrived in a vintage six-door Mercedes limousine at the national palace for a grand ceremony attended by the country’s nine royal families, political elites and captains of industry.
Sultan Ibrahim and his son, Tunku Ismail Idris — the new regent of Johor — stood out in their military-inspired uniforms among their peers, who wore finely tailored Malay royal court regalia that included the tanjak headdress, the sarong-like sampin and the kris, a ceremonial dagger.
The new king officially ascended to the throne after taking his oath of office, flanked by fellow heads of the country’s other royal families. He will formally be referred to as Sultan Ibrahim during his reign, according to a statement from the national palace.
“I, with all my ability, will at all times preserve Islam, and stand firmly for fair administration and peace in the country,” he said when taking his oath as cannons were fired outside the palace to mark the start of his reign.
“There are 222 of you in parliament. There are over 30 million [Malaysians] outside. I’m not with you, I’m with them,” the ruler said in an interview with Singapore’s The Straits Times newspaper published in December.
In addition to his forthright reputation, Sultan Ibrahim – a helicopter pilot who has trained with American special forces – is renowned for his enjoyment of the high life.
Sultan Ibrahim lists polo as his favourite sport, though he also enjoys playing tennis, sailing, competitive shooting and parachuting, according to his official biography.
On the business end, Malaysia’s new king and his family have interests spanning property to telecommunications, a portfolio he defends citing the