STORY: Malaysia's political leaders scrambled on Sunday to secure support from rivals a day after a general election produced a hung parliament, with no coalition winning a parliamentary majority.
Longtime opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin each said they could form a government with support from other parties, whom they did not identify.
Anwar's Pakatan Harapan coalition won 82 lower house seats, short of the 112 majority but slightly ahead of Muhyiddin Yassin's Perikatan Nasional coalition with 73.
While Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob's Barisan Nasional alliance- whose United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) had long been Malaysia's dominant political force - suffered its worst electoral defeat ever, winning just 30 of the 178 seats it vied for.
Political analyst Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani said the election showed that the country is more divided than expected:
"I think rural Malays have rejected corruption, looking for more clean and stable government and with Perikatan Nasional making inroads in UMNO vote back, it shows that is there are three legitimate coalitions in the future of Malaysian politics."
Forming a government may require the involvement of Malaysia's king, whose largely ceremonial role includes the power to appoint as prime minister a lawmaker he believes will command a majority when no coalition can do so on its own.
The palace has now called each political party to present the name of a lawmaker it thinks has the majority support by 2pm local time on Monday. (0600 GMT)
A record number of Malaysians voted, with many like Daniel hoping to end a spell of political uncertainty which has had three prime ministers in as many years.
"Just disappointed in general because I don't think the country is moving...well it's a fair representation of democracy in this country but is not the result I was hoping for."
Without a clear winner, the uncertainty could persist, as Malaysia faces slowing economic growth and rising inflation.