We'll work well with any Malaysia govt: PM

Mahathir Mohamad is set for a return to the prime minister's office he occupied for 22 years

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is adopting a wait-and-see position on the likely outcome of Malaysia's general election.

Veteran strongman Mahathir Mohamad is set for a return to the prime minister's office he occupied for 22 years after leading a coalition of opposition parties to victory.

"We will wait and see. It is the decision of the Malaysian people and we have always worked well with the government of Malaysia and we look forward to the results of the election," Mr Turnbull told ABC radio on Thursday.

Malaysian-born Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong described the election result as an historic change, noting Barisan Nasional had governed since independence for over 60 years.

"Whatever happens in Malaysia, we and the government of the day in Australia will work with the duly elected government," Senator Wong told ABC radio.

"We have an interest, Australia has an interest and a hope that Malaysia is an inclusive and tolerant democracy and that democratic practices are observed."