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Kelantan Sultan divorces Russian ex-beauty queen

KUALA LUMPUR The marriage that both fascinated and surprised many people in Malaysia is over.

Sultan of Kelantan Muhammad V, 50, has divorced his Russian wife, former beauty pageant queen Oksana Voevodina, 26, after a marriage of just more than a year, reported the New Straits Times (NST).

They were said to have married on June 7 last year when Sultan Muhammad V was the Malaysian king, but it was only months later that video clips of their wedding reception made the rounds internationally.

The NST, quoting sources, said a copy of the couple's divorce certificate making its rounds on social media was genuine.

The certificate, which bears the Kelantan state crest and is marked as the copy of the wife, indicates the divorce was done through the utterance of the word "talak" three times - the most severe and irreversible form of divorce in Islam.

The date of the divorce was listed as June 22 and it was marked as taking place in Singapore, The New Straits Times reported.

This latest development, however, is not reflected on Ms Voevodina's official Instagram page, which has 341,000 followers.

There are only 14 posts on the account, most of them centred on the couple's relationship, her background, her son and the details of their wedding, the NST reported.

News that the marriage was on rocky ground started making the rounds in January, but Ms Voevodina's father, orthopaedic surgeon Andrei Ivanovich Gorbatenko, was quoted as saying: "It is nonsense. I do not read the Internet, but I would have been the first to know."

When asked, Kelantan's deputy chief minister Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah denied any knowledge of the split, the NST reported.

"We have no official information about that," he told reporters.

"We know about the divorce only through social media, including from the news published on the front page of a newspaper today."

NOT RECOGNISED

Taking the name Rihana Oksana Petra, she had not been officially recognised by the state as the new Sultanah.

Sultan Muhammad V does not have children from his first marriage, The Straits Times reported.

A post on July 10 said she got married last June and in May, gave birth to her son Ismail Leon, "Inshallah (if God willing) His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Kelantan and, Inshallah, the future King of Malaysia".

Ms Rihana's past raised eyebrows in conservative Muslim Malaysia, after photos surfaced online of her scantily clad and modelling lingerie.

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