MALAYA: Siege's End

In an ornate palace overlooking surprisingly modern Kuala Lumpur, the nine hereditary sultans of the federated Malayan states met fortnight ago to hold a thoroughly modern election. By secret vote of his peers, Sir Hisamuddin Alam Shah, 61, Sultan of Selangor, was elected to the five-year rotating kingship of independent Malaya, succeeding the late Tuan-ku Abdul Rahman. Gravely, the new king, who once operated a sporting-goods store and now raises rare orchids in his palace gardens, inscribed his name in a silver-bound book. Last week he went before Malaya's democratically elected Parliament to announce some good news. Come July,...

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