Mahathir, the world's oldest leader at 93, has said he expects to be in office for at least two years and will keep his promise to hand over power to Anwar.
Anwar was designated as Mahathir's successor after the two men set aside a bitter feud and joined hands to capture a stunning victory in May's general election.
Of the four other independents in the fray, Anwar's former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 33, obtained the lowest number of votes at just 82; social media personality Stevie Chan Keng Leong managed to get 337 votes, management consultant Kan Chee Yuen ( 154 votes) and former private university lecturer and sole woman candidate Lau Seck Yan (214 votes).
Anwar was in prison when he forged an unlikely alliance with Mahathir in a bid to unseat then prime minister Najib Razak, who had called elections for May amid massive corruption allegations.
"I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the Port Dickson voters who have entrusted me and Pakatan Harapan to represent them [in the parliament]", Anwar, the PKR president-elect, said.
Polls opened under cloudy skies at 8:00 a.m. (0000 GMT) in the sleepy southern coastal town of Port Dickson, home to a sizeable ethnic Chinese community that across the country has traditionally been one of Anwar's pillars of support. "We need an influential leader to bring long-overdue progress to Port Dickson", said 60-year-old voter Lee Tian Hock.
Anwar added that Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah, who had resigned as the PD member of parliament to pave the way for Anwar's return to the august house, would be his assistant in the parliamentary seat to work for the people of the constituency.
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With the victory, Anwar, 71, will be sworn in as the new MP of Port Dickson in the Dewan Rakyat tomorrow.
"I want him to be our eighth prime minister".
Anwar appeared tired when he was giving his winning speech to the large crowd of supporters who had waited for him to address them since the polling station closed.
Two weeks of campaigning has seen bigwigs rallying for Mr Anwar, including Mr Mahathir and several ministers. He has always maintained the charges were trumped up to derail his political career.
The multi-billion-dollar graft scandal at state fund 1MDB, over which Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor face dozens of corruption charges, was also at the centre of Anwar's campaign.
The duo went onstage together at one campaign event, prompting wild cheers from supporters.
In 2004, his sodomy conviction was overturned and he led the opposition to unprecedented gains - though remained short of victory - in the 2008 and 2013 general elections.
Mahathir, his mentor turned tormentor and now ally, came back from retirement to lead the Alliance of Hope coalition that won power in May.
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