Malaysia election: Race on to form coalition govt
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said yesterday he is in talks with the party of ex-premier Najib Razak, who is in jail for corruption, to form the next government after an inconclusive election. Anwar's multi-ethnic coalition, which campaigned on an anti-corruption ticket, won 82 seats in Saturday's election, the most of any bloc but still short of the majority needed to form government. Malaysia, one of Southeast Asia's biggest economies, has had three changes of government in as many years, underscoring recent political instability. Saturday's election offered no immediate solution to that impasse, only more of the political horsetrading that have characterised recent polls. "I am still very optimistic that we will be able to form a government, more transparent, more democratic and to safeguard the interests of the people in Malaysia," Anwar told a news conference. Another bloc, headed by former premier Muhyiddin Yassin, has also claimed it has enough backing to form government with the support of the conservative Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS).