Asia-Pacific

Malaysia profile - Leaders

Head of state: Tuanku Abdul Halim

Tuanku Abdul Halim was appointed the 14th paramount ruler, Malaysia's head of state, in December 2011. Having already held the post from 1970 to 1975, he is the first Malaysian king to be enthroned twice. He is also the oldest to be elected to the post at 83.

The post of paramount ruler is rotated every five years among the sultans of the nine Malay kingdoms.

Prime minister: Najib Abdul Razak

Najib Razak assumed the post of prime minister following the resignation of his predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2009, and was sworn in for a second term after the long-governing National Front coalition won elections in 2013.

The coalition's reduced majority emboldened the opposition to allege electoral fraud.

The scion of a promient political family, Mr Najib entered parliament as the country's youngest MP and quickly rose to hold the finance and defence portfoliios before becoming prime minister.

Taking office in the midst of the 2008 global economic crisis, Mr Najib has had to meet demands for more open government along with seeking to counter the ethnic and religious polarisation of the country.

His rule has been bedevilled with accusations of strong-arm tactics to stifle political dissent, and a lack of financial transparency.