The Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser fought off a tenacious Barisan Nasional (BN) onslaught that included being charged with sodomy two weeks ago and an aggressive campaign waged against him by former confidants Ezam Mohd Nor and Datuk S Nallakaruppan, aside from top guns like Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin who had vowed to “bury” his political career.

He garnered 31,195 votes to defeat BN’s Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah by a majority of 15,671 votes, more than the 13,398-vote majority obtained by his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail during the March 8 general election. Arif Shah polled 15,524 votes, while Angkatan Keadilan Insan Malaysia (Akim) president Hanafi Hamat obtained 92 votes. Voter turnout was 81% and there were 447 spoilt votes.

“The message behind my victory is clear that Malaysians demand change,” Anwar said after his win.

After the results were announced, the crowd shouted “Putrajaya” and “Reformasi”, and also sang the national anthem, with Anwar leading the chants of “Merdeka”.

Anwar hoped to be sworn in at parliament the latest by tomorrow and believed that there was no reason for the Dewan Rakyat Speaker to delay the process.