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Malaysia's 14th Supreme Head of State sworn in


13:09, December 13, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, Sultan of Malaysia's Kedah state, was sworn in as the country's 14th Supreme Head of State on Tuesday, becoming the only one who serves as the King of Malaysia for a second time since Malaysia gained its independence.

After arriving at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in the morning, Abdul Halim was given a ceremonial welcome at the Parliament Square, where he was greeted by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Mohamad Yassin and other officials.

The 84-year-old Sultan attended the oath-taking ceremony at the National Palace and assumed the post of Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.

Abdul Halim, a graduate of Oxford University, became the Sultan of Kedah in 1958 and served as Malaysia's 5th Supreme Head of State from 1970 to 1975.

He served as Deputy Supreme Head of State during the term of his predecessor, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu state, and was elected the country's 14th king at a special meeting of the Conference of Rulers in October.

Mizan's term ended on Monday.

Abdul Halim had expressed hope that the country would continue to enjoy peace and prosperity with various races living in harmony. Meanwhile, he criticized some politicians for "playing up" religious and racial issues to keep popularity.

Also on Tuesday, Sultan Muhammad V of Kelatan state, 42, took the oath of office as Malaysia's Deputy Supreme Head of State.

Constitutionally, the position of the Supreme Head of State is rotated every five years among the traditional Malay rulers of nine of Malaysia's thirteen states. The system has been in use since Malaysia gained its independence in 1957.

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