PORT DICKSON, Oct 13 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s post-election event turned into an impromptu celebration rally as thousands of supporters gathered to celebrate his resounding victory tonight.
Amid incessant cheers, the PKR president-elect addressed the crowd assembled outside Pakatan Harapan’s Port Dickson election operations centre.
“Today I am officially the MP of Port Dickson,” he said to roars of support.
“Today’s victory is proof that the majority chose the Pakatan Harapan coalition.”
“I will always remind my peers that having power is not equivalent to a free pass of corruption because the rakyat will rise to oppose you,” he said, triggering another round of cheers from his supporters dressed in red and blue.
Despite his earlier declaration, Anwar insisted on addressing the crowd as a member of the “Port Dickson family” rather than as their elected representative.
“In essence, this is what we mean and translate into action. We are family,” he said.
In the by-election for the Port Dickson federal seat, Anwar won with a majority of 23,560 votes when he polled 31,016 votes compared with his closest contender PAS candidate Lt Col (Rtd) Mohd Nazari Mokhtar at 7,456 votes.
Fomer Negri Sembilan mentri besar Tan Sri Isa Samad, wrongly predicted to be Anwar’s strongest challenger, was a distant third with 4,230 votes.
Hours prior to the official announcement by the Election Commission, hundreds of supporters began cheering and roaring as soon as early tabulations shown on a large screen adjacent to the operations centre put Anwar in an unassailable lead.
Immediately after the official results were displayed on the screen at 8.30pm, the crowd started chanting “Reformasi” and “Pakatan Harapan” en masse.
The 58.3 per cent voter turnout figure is the highest in the by-elections since the 14th general election, but far below the 83.6 per cent from May 9.
Despite this, Anwar both secured a larger majority than his predecessor and a commanding 71 per cent of the popular vote.