Malaysia sultan builds royal retreat in Australia

image copyrightABC
image captionThe Sultan of Johor takes delivery of the world's most expensive Mack truck in Brisbane last year

A flamboyant Malaysian royal is building a grand house on the last parcel of undeveloped riverfront land in Perth's exclusive western suburbs.

The multimillion dollar block will be turned into a home fit for a king — or His Majesty Ibrahim Ismail.

The Sultan of Johor's fortune has been estimated at more than US$1bn (£750m).

He belongs to one of Malaysia's nine royal households, who are largely popular with Malaysians and lead lives of considerable privilege.

image copyrightKeith Anderson
image captionThe Sultan of Johor's gold painted Boeing 737 spotted in Perth

The three-storey home in the Western Australian capital will be relatively modest for a man who owns a gold Boeing 737 and the world's most expensive Mack truck.

Last year, the sultan acquired the site of a former matron's quarters for A$8.5m (US$6.3m;£4.8m).

The acquisition was met with opposition from the local council, which wanted to preserve views from the heritage-listed Sunset Hospital site.

The local mayor is now pleased with how the "elegant house" will fit in with its surroundings.

image copyrightRissala Polo Club
image captionSultan Ibrahim Ismail, has bought an exclusive riverfront property in Perth

Fond memories

The sultan and his wife have been visiting Australia for many decades and are reported to have fond memories of beachside family holidays with their six children.

In a message posted last month to mark the end of Ramadan, Sultan Ibrahim said that he was thankful for "good health, food on our table, beautiful homes to live in".

"I am aware of the many other people in Johor who have so much less than us, and who lead very difficult lives," he wrote on Facebook.

"My family and I will continue to do our best to help them."

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