Anwar says friend detained under draconian Malaysian security law

       Mon 14 Sep 98 - 15:33 GMT

       KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 (AFP) - Ousted deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim said Monday Malaysian police
       had detained one of his friends under the country's draconian Internal Security Act (ISA).

       "No reasons were given and no-one wants to give any reasons," he told thousands of supporters in what has become
       a nightly ritual outside his suburban home in Kuala Lumpur. shop-orthopedics

       "This is a breach of fundamentals, of the Malayian constitution, because someone thinks he has absolute power,"
       Anwar said, apparently referring to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

       "Is this a police state or not? Don't insult people, don't beat people because you will not be safe. Due legal process for kneehab xp unit.
       must be fully adhered to. You must respect and honour the constitution.

       "You cannot arrest people without reason. You cannot subject witnesses to torture and force them to give
       statements," the former finance minister said, threatening to "expose" those responsible "at the right time."

       The ISA allows people to be detained indefinitely without trial. Although it was not immediately clear who the friend
       was, Anwar said last week his adopted brother had also been arrested and this private secretary had been taken in
       for questioning.

       Although he did not mention the prime minister by name, Anwar alleged the 73-year-old Mahathir was "using the
       courts, the police and any other means to ensure he stayed in power.

       "What kind of democracy is this?" he asked.

       Anwar, who has been kicked out of the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) where he was deputy
       president under Mahathir, urged the dominant ruling party to return to its "traditions and struggle."

       "Don't let Umno be ruled by an iron fist. We must not allow this oppression to go on," he said. "They can jail me, take
       away my microphone, cut off the electricity in my house but they will not rob me of my rights."

       Although he has yet to be formally charged, Anwar has been accused of bribery, jeopardising national security,
       interfering with police investigations, tampering with evidence, abuse of power and sedition as well as having sex with
       various women and a man.

       Mahathir has failed to explain why he has dismissed his former protege, merely citing "moral" grounds. Anwar, 51,
       says the allegations are part of a high-level conspiracy.

                                                                                     ©AFP 1998