Congratulatory messages poured in for the newly appointed Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Malaysia's recently concluded 14th General Election (GE14).
Anwar was jailed again during Najib's rule but he is due out in June - and Mahathir has promised to secure him a royal pardon, allowing him to run for office again and potentially become prime minister. The 92-year-old is now the world's oldest leader.
Hundreds of Malaysians lined the road leading to the palace, waving party flags and cheering.
But Najib, who faces being investigated by the incoming government for alleged corruption, never appeared and the private jet, owned by Indonesian company Premiair, remained on the tarmac at Subang airport near Kuala Lumpur.
Mr Najib has been accused of diverting $US700 million from a state investment fund in 2015, but has since been cleared by the authorities. "We believe Mahathir can make a change", he said.
Mahathir was Malaysia's prime minister for more than 20 years.
Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said he was committed to maintaining good relations with Malaysia and was looking forward to cooperation from Dr Mahathir to further advance China-Malaysia's comprehensive strategic partnership.
Lebanese vote in first general election in nine years
They also won in the second quarter of Beirut, the Lebanese capital, and in three municipalities of the Beqaa governorate. Hezbollah members were accused over the 2005 assassination of Hariri's father Rafiq, a charismatic former prime minister.
But in 2016, Mahathir abandoned the long-ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, and joined Anwar's opposition alliance to fight against scandal-hit former premier Najib Razak.
US investigators said Najib's associates stole and looted $4.5 billion from the fund, of which some $700 million landed in Najib's bank account and some $30 million used to buy jewelry for his wife. The European Union (EU) said it looked forward to working with the new government in strengthening Malaysia and EU relations for the benefit of both sides.
Mahathir ruled Malaysia between 1981 and 2003, overseeing the country's transformation into an industrialized nation and guiding it through the Asian financial crisis of two decades ago. Najib and the fund deny any wrongdoing.
"I got up late and lots of people got up late", he added.
Mahathir has said the new government would seek the release and full pardon of Anwar Ibrahim, an opposition icon imprisoned on sodomy charges that Anwar and his supporters said were fabricated by the National Front to crush the opposition.
Increased fiscal risks and "high foreign positioning" are likely to weigh on Malaysian debt, said Vivek Rajpal, a rates strategist at Nomura Holdings Inc in Singapore. Mahathir applauded the investigation of the 1MDB and Anwar is known to promote moderate Islam and be pro-West, which bodes well for the future of U.S. -Malaysia relations. In that election, BN won enough parliamentary seats but lost the popular vote to the Anwar-led Pakatan Rakyat (PR).