Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar, 65 years old, a billionaire ascended to the Malaysian throne on Wednesday in a ceremony attended by the prime minister, cabinet members, and members of the country’s nine royal families.
Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar, the newly crowned Malaysian king known for his candid pronouncements, seems determined to leave a significant mark on his reign. In an interview with the Singapore Straits Times last month, he emphasized his commitment to not spending his five-year term as a mere “puppet king.”
Sultan Ibrahim, known as the head of the Johor royal family, will now be known as His Majesty The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the equivalent of king in Malaysia.
His ascent to the national throne was widely anticipated due to Malaysia’s unique system of monarchy, the world’s only rotating arrangement.
As per the system, Malaysia’s nine hereditary rulers, commonly referred to as sultans, take turns assuming the position of the head of state every five years, according to Reuters.
Even before assuming the new title, the recently appointed monarch was widely regarded as one of the most influential and affluent individuals in the country.
Raja Zarith Sofiah, Sultan Ibrahim’s spouse, hails from a different royal lineage, holds a degree from Oxford University, and is recognized as a children’s book author, according to the Associated Press. The couple has been blessed with six children.
He maintains a private armed force, owns multiple private jets, and possesses 300 collections of luxury cars, one of which has been linked to Adolf Hitler.
Drawing attention to his extravagant lifestyle, the king is already making waves. A Bloomberg profile described him as a “motorcycle-riding, Ferrari-driving, Instagram-savvy royal.”
According to Bloomberg, the Johor family’s estimated net worth stands at $5.7 billion. The report attributes this substantial wealth to the family’s investments in private land, real estate, as well as public and private enterprises.
Sultan Ibrahim possesses slightly less than a quarter of U Mobile, a major Malaysian cellphone provider. Additionally, he has ownership of land in Singapore valued at $4 billion, According to the outlet.
The Johor family stands as the sole royal family in Malaysia endowed with a private army, established in 1885 as mandated by the Anglo-Johor Treaty.
The monarch is noted for possessing a fleet of private jets and over 300 vintage luxury cars, which includes one previously owned by Adolf Hitler. In a rediscovered 2013 interview posted on YouTube in 2017, Sultan Ibrahim mentioned that Hitler was considered a friend by his great-grandfather reported by Bloomberg.
Furthermore, he mentioned that Hitler’s car was sent from England to Malaysia before ultimately being bestowed upon his great-grandfather.
According to The Guardian, Sultan Ibrahim is not only a collector of cars but also an avid motorbike enthusiast. He is often seen riding his Harley-Davidson around Johor, occasionally engaging in acts of charity for the less fortunate.
While primarily a ceremonial position, the king holds parliamentary responsibilities such as the authority to appoint a prime minister and the power to grant pardons to individuals convicted of crimes, as reported by Reuters.