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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 April 2007, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK
Malaysia's new king takes office
Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin lifts a ceremonial 'keris" (dagger) during the ceremony - 26/04/07
Sultan Mizan is one of Malaysia's youngest ever heads of state
Malaysia has enthroned its 13th king at the national palace in Kuala Lumpur, in a ceremony steeped in Malay tradition.

Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, 45, was sworn in to the post in December, as King Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin's five-year term as monarch ended.

The stock market is closed and civil servants are having the day off.

Under Malaysia's rotational monarchy, the heads of each of the nine hereditary states occupy the throne for five years.

The king's role is largely ceremonial, with power in the hands of parliament and the prime minister.

Malaysia is the only country in the world to have a rotating monarchy.

Malay pageantry

The king, known as Yang di-Pertuan Agong or He Who Is Made Lord, formally took office at a ceremony in the throne room of the national palace.

Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin with Queen Nur Zahirah during the ceremony - 26/04/07
Sultan Mizan, pictured with Queen Nur, will rule for five years
The sultan is the former ruler of the oil-rich Terengganu state, which sent a royal court orchestra to play traditional music during the ceremony.

The king - dressed in a black ceremonial robe embroidered in gold and royal headdress - and his queen, Nur Zahirah, were seated on the thrones.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi proclaimed Sultan Mizan the 13th king, before an audience of the country's other sultans and government ministers.

Sultan Mizan was then presented with the royal long dagger - a symbol of power and authority - which the king drew and kissed.

He pledged to rule fairly, uphold the Islamic faith and ensure just government. A 21-gun salute followed.

Sultan Mizan is one of the youngest heads of state Malaysia has ever had - and he is already making changes, the BBC's Jonathan Kent in Kuala Lumpur says.

Royal functions will now finish by 2230, so people can get to bed early.

The new king is known to enjoy sports more than parties, is a keen horseman and enjoys a round of golf, our correspondent adds.

Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin is sworn in

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12 Mar 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Malaysia's king sworn in
13 Dec 01 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Malaysia
22 Mar 07 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Malaysia
01 Nov 06 |  Country profiles

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