Crowd gathers at Cheras Hospital in anticipation of Anwar's release [NSTTV]

Crowd gathers at Cheras Hospital in anticipation of Anwar's release [NSTTV]

Anwar emerged from the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital on Wednesday after Malaysia's Pardon Board, which included the current King, made a decision to overturn the 2015 conviction, which is widely accepted to be politically motivated.

Tun Daim Zainuddin, who heads the Council of Elders, told The Straits Times of Singapore that it would be foolish to install PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister now.

Once a highflyer in the ruling party, Anwar was convicted of homosexual sodomy - and an additional charge of corruption - in 1998 amid a power struggle with Mahathir, at the peak of his authoritarian run in power.

A royal pardon would reverse Mr Anwar's conviction and make him eligible to actively participate in politics.

Nurul Izzah, Anwar's daughter, said her father's release was a gift ahead of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan which begins on Thursday in Malaysia.

Smiling and waving to supporters on Wednesday, Mr Anwar, 70, was surrounded by his family, lawyers and prison guards before getting into a vehicle and driving to the palace for an audience with the king.

Anwar was previously scheduled to be released on June 8.

"We have not even been sworn in yet, but today is still a working day for us as we have a lot to do", she said.

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That conviction is viewed by many in Malaysia as politically motivated, orchestrated by the previous government in a bid to decapitate Anwar's rising opposition movement.

Asked about Anwar's health, Dr Wan Azizah, who is the MP for Pandan, said her husband was recovering.

Wearing a white shirt printed with a photograph of Anwar and the words "March 2 Freedom", he said he nevertheless believed Anwar and Mahathir could work together and that the alliance's prospects were good.

Mahathir said after winning a parliamentary seat, Anwar could potentially be appointed to the Cabinet.

Mahathir said it would be hard to achieve consensus and any decisions will be based on the voice of the majority.

He is prime minister-in-waiting but unlikely to take over quickly from Mahathir.

The volatile relationship between Mahathir and Anwar has dominated Malaysia's political landscape for over three decades and is central to the future of the alliance. He quickly rose up the ranks, becoming finance minister in 1991 and deputy prime minister two years later.