explainer

Malaysia's King Muhammad V abdicates amid rumours he secretly married a Russian beauty queen.

Last week, Malaysia’s King Sultan Muhammad V decided to leave the throne just two years into his five-year term.

With his abdication, the 49-year-old became the first ruling monarch to leave the throne in the country’s history.

In a statement from Kuala Lumpur’s National Palace, it was made clear that Muhammad’s resignation would take immediate effect.

However, no official reason was given for his choice to leave the throne.

“During his tenure… his majesty worked to fulfill 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,” the statement read.

“His Majesty hopes that all Malaysians will continue to stay united.”

But while there was no official reason given for the King’s abdication, it’s believed the former King gave up his role for just one reason.

A secret marriage.

Muhammad is rumoured to have secretly married 25-year-old Russian beauty queen Oksana Voevodina in November while on two months leave for ‘medical reasons’.

But while Russian and British media sources and social media were flooded with images throughout November of the couple’s extravagant day, neither Muhammad or the palace ever officially confirmed the wedding.

It’s believed that the couple married in a lavish Islamic ceremony in Moscow. It has also been reported that the ceremony featured halal food and no alcohol as the former Miss Moscow converted to Islam in April last year.

At this point, it is unknown how the pair met or how long they knew each other before they wed.

Speaking to The Sun, Oskana’s father confirmed the couple’s relationship.

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“They have their own lives, I live mine,” he said.

“But I can tell you one thing, as a doctor. When I met him for the first time, I relaxed somewhere deep inside,” he continued.

“I immediately felt that Oksana would be doing well with him. Maybe, my father’s heart told me.”

Not much is known about Oksana publicly, however, in November, it was reported that the beauty queen had been accused of having sex in a swimming pool on an MTV Russian reality TV show.

Now, in a new twist in the royal scandal, media are reporting that the couple are expecting their first baby together.

king sultan muhammad v
"The couple is expecting their first baby and has fully devoted themselves to the future offspring." Image: Getty.

One of the most popular newspapers in Russia, Komsomolskaya Pravda, shared the news on Wednesday.

"The couple is expecting their first baby and has fully devoted themselves to the future offspring," an anonymous source reportedly told the publication.

According to the Straits Times, a new monarch will be selected to overtake Muhammad by the Council of Rulers.

In Malaysia, the King's role is a largely ceremonial one. He is however tasked with upholding both Islamic and Malay traditions.

The monarchy in Malaysia is rotational, meaning that the role of King is passed around between nine hereditary state rulers.

The Strait Times have reported that there were tensions between the palace and Malaysia's Prime Minister, which may have led Muhammad to abdicate.

They also reported that the other eight hereditary state rulers felt uneasy about Muhammad's rumoured marriage to the Russian beauty, especially considering there was a possibility she could become Queen.

It is not yet known who will take over from Muhammad as monarch.

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