The Nov 19 election produced no clear winner, with neither Mr Anwar’s Pakatan Harapan (PH) nor Mr Muhyiddin Yassin’s Perikatan Nasional (PN) able to secure a simple majority in the 222-seat Lower House.
PH won 81 seats while PN managed 73, putting both in a position to form the next government. A coalition needs to be backed by at least 112 lawmakers to form the next government. Both coalitions scrambled to gather support from Barisan Nasional (BN), Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and GRS.
BN, which finished a distant third, managed to win 30 seats. GPS won 23 seats while GRS emerged victorious in six seats.
The king had asked PH and PN to form a unity government, but the latter turned down the suggestion.
Following a meeting of the Malay rulers on Thursday regarding the political impasse, Istana Negara announced that Mr Anwar will be the next prime minister.
After his swearing-in on Thursday, Mr Anwar told reporters that the unity government comprises PH, BN and GPS. The government also included Parti Warisan Sabah, Malaysian United Democratic Alliance and other independent lawmakers.
Mr Anwar stated that he is willing to work with all coalitions, including PN.
The new prime minister said that the next parliamentary session will take place on Dec 19.
He added that a vote of confidence in his leadership will be the first item on the agenda during the parliamentary session.
In a statement issued on Friday, Mr Muhyiddin congratulated Mr Anwar and said PN will play a check-and-balance role in the parliament.
“Moving forward, PN will continue the struggle for the well-being of the people and the prosperity of the country guided by the principles of Caring, Clean and Stable,” he said.