KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s royal families were electing a king Thursday after the last monarch abdicated following his reported marriage to a Russian ex-beauty queen, with a sports-loving sultan in pole position for the role.
The previous king, Sultan Muhammad V, stepped aside this month following just two years on the throne after reports surfaced he had married the former Miss Moscow while on medical leave.
There was great shock across Malaysia at the first abdication of a monarch in the Muslim-majority country’s history.
His likely replacement is Sultan Abdullah of Pahang state, a keen athlete who holds a string of positions on sporting bodies, including on the council of world football governing body FIFA.
Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, with a unique arrangement where the national throne changes hands every five years between rulers of the country’s nine states headed by Islamic royalty.
Eight of the state sultans arrived at the national palace in Kuala Lumpur for the Conference of Rulers, a special meeting during which they will pick a new king for a five-year term, official news agency Bernama reported.
The meeting got under way at 11:15 am (0315 GMT), Bernama said. The only one absent was Muhammad V, who remains the sultan of the northeastern state of Kelantan, despite having abdicated as the national monarch.
Under the rotation system, the central state of Pahang is next in line to provide the monarch.
Sultan Abdullah, 59, was named the state’s new ruler — replacing his elderly, ailing father — several days after Muhammad V’s abdication, in a step viewed as paving the way for him to become the next national monarch.
BMW, Daimler to invest 1b euros
BERLIN: German auto giants BMW and Daimler said Friday they would invest one billion euros ($1.1 billion) in combining and extending their carsharing schemes, in future offering a slew of joint “mobility services”, including for electric cars.
“We are pooling the strength and expertise of 14 successful brands and investing more than one billion euros to establish a new player in the fast-growing market for urban mobility,” Dieter Zetsche, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler said in a statement.
India divertig attention from Spy’s case?
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda has termed the Indian threat to stop the flow of water from eastern rivers to Pakistan a “failed attempt”, just like the Pulwama incident, to divert attention from its failure in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case in International Court of Justice (ICJ).
In his reaction over India’s threat to stop Pakistan’s water, he said India could not blame Pakistan for its failure in the International Court of Justice to prove spy Kulbhushan innocent. As per Indus Water Treaty, India could not stop Pakistan’s water, he added, says a press statement here on Friday.
Describing the threat hilarious and void, he said the Indian government was preparing the ground to seek public support in next election by hurling allegation against Pakistan. “India must keep it in mind that it is a New Pakistan,” Vawda said adding that valiant Armed Forces of Pakistan would give a befitting response if India launched any misadventure. He said India would get nothing from its war hysteria except embarrassment among the comity of the nations.
Brexit: 9th MP leaves Labour in a week!
LONDON: The Labour party contingency of Britain’s parliament lost more blood Friday, with a ninth MP leaving Labour in less than a week, blasting alleged anti-Semitism in the party leadership.
Ian Austin, representing Dudley North in the West Midlands, chose the local paper Express and Star to make his announcement, in a guest op-ed slamming the party as “broken.” Citing the alleged anti-Semitism in the party, Austin said he was “appalled at the offense and distress [leader] Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party have caused to Jewish people.”
“I always tell them the truth and I could never ask local people to make Jeremy Corbyn prime minister,” he said. “It is terrible that a culture of extremism, antisemitism, and intolerance is driving out good MPs and decent people who have committed their life to mainstream politics,” he wrote. He said that he had not spoken to the new Independent Group, now made up of eight Labour MPs and three former Conservative MPs.
“The hard left is now in charge of the party, they’re going to get rid of lots of decent mainstream MPs and I just can’t see how it can return to the mainstream party that won elections and changed the country for the better,” Austin said. He added, “I think the Labour party is broken and clearly things have to change but that’s not what today is about, and I’ve not talked to them about that.”
A Labour spokesman said the party “regrets” Austin quitting, adding, “He was elected as a Labour MP and so the democratic thing is to resign his seat and let the people of Dudley decide who should represent them.” Earlier this week, amid the continuing chaos over Brexit, a group of seven MPs resigned from Labour and said they would stay in parliament as independent lawmakers, followed soon thereafter by an eighth. Three Conservative MPs also resigned their party this week to join the Independent Group.