KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is now a free man.
He walked out of Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital at 11.30am Wednesday (May 16) a free man and is now en route to Istana Negara to meet the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V.
Anwar was initially scheduled to be released on June 8, 2018, after his five-year sentence that started on Feb 10, 2015 was reduced for good behaviour.
Anwar was supposed to speak to the press outside the centre upon his release, but the sheer hubbub from supporters and media prevented this.
He waved to the crowd waiting outside the rehab centre for a few moments before leaving in a black SUV.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is already at Istana Negara.
Guards at Sungai Buloh prison said that all of Anwar's personal belongings have been sent to the rehabilitation centre.
PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil earlier said that Anwar is scheduled to hold a press conference at his home in Segambut at around 4pm.
"Anwar will then perform terawih prayers at his home before attending the rally at Padang Timur tonight (May 16)," he told reporters.
The PKR de facto leader has been granted a full Royal Pardon by the Agong, said Anwar's lawyer R. Sivarasa.
"The Pardons Board had presented recommendations to the Agong, who agreed to give Anwar a full pardon.
"He is not only physically free but free to participate in the nation's politics, as past convictions have been expunged," said Sivarasa.
He said Anwar is likely to spend a few days resting and visiting friends here and abroad.
"Maybe in about six weeks time, after Hari Raya, we will begin the process of getting him (Anwar) back into Parliament," he added.