Malaysia arrests 'sultan of Malacca' in fake titles case

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This picture taken on 7 September 2013 shows a self-styled royal Raja Noor Jan Shah Raja Tuah Shah delivering his royal speech in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur in MalaysiaImage source, AFP
Image caption,
Mr Noor Jan, who says he is sultan of Malacca, is accused of handing out honorary titles

Police in Malaysia are questioning a man who says he is the sultan of Malacca on suspicion that he falsely used the title for personal gain.

The man calls himself Sultan Raja Noor Jan Shah Raja Tuah - but the position in the southern state no longer exists.

Police arrested him under the sedition act and are investigating whether people paid him for fake titles.

Malaysia has a rotating monarchy system comprised of nine sultans. Malacca state is headed by a governor.

Mr Noor Jan, 56, wears a royal yellow military-style suit studded with medals and has been hosting elaborate ceremonies to hand out honorary titles, reports the BBC's Jennifer Pak in Kuala Lumpur.

He appeared in court on Wednesday and was remanded in custody.

Mr Noor Jan was about to board a ferry for a ceremony on another island on Tuesday when police arrested him, local reports say.

Police said they received complaints from various groups about Mr Noor Jan's activities, local media add.

Police official Raja Shahrom told The Star Online that initial investigations showed Mr Noor Jan was "a businessman in the property market".

Malaysia's sultans hand out hundreds of honorary titles every year.

These titles are coveted because they help unlock doors to the elite and business opportunities in Malaysia, our correspondent says.

There are concerns that people who sell honorary titles undermine the monarchy. Malaysia's royalty have been largely reduced to a ceremonial role, but they are still deeply revered, our correspondent adds.

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