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Friday, Sept 11
Malaysia PM denounced as Anwar leaves home
By Reme Ahmad

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 (Reuters) - To cries of ''Down with Mahathir!,'' Malaysia's sacked finance minister Anwar Ibrahim on Friday addressed several thousand cheering supporters outside a mosque in the heart of the capital.

Anwar, under threat of arrest, ventured from his neighbourhood for the first time since his dismissal last week and prayed in a packed mosque in the capital.

He then took a microphone and, his voice hoarse after a week of speeches to supporters, spoke for about 20 minutes to the agitated crowd which filled the mosque and spilled outside.

''The police are still investigating why I have been sacked and shamed,'' Anwar said. ''They have no proof, so they are still investigating.''

Anwar's foray into central Kuala Lumpur came hours before the scheduled opening of the 16th Commonwealth Games which Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was to attend.

Two policemen sat in a car nearby and one was stationed inside the mosque, but they made no move to intervene, witnesses said.

The crowd which had gathered for Friday congregational prayers intermittently interrupted Anwar's remarks, shouting "Reformasi'' (Reform), ''Allahu Akbar'' (God is Greatest), ''Long Live Anwar'' and ''Down with Mahathir.''

Mahathir dismissed Anwar as deputy prime minister and finance minister on September 2.

While he has given no detailed explanation for the sacking, Mahathir has said his former heir-apparent was morally unfit to serve.

Anwar is under investigation over allegations of sexual misconduct, treason and other crimes which he denies. The former cabinet minister has said he was a victim of a high-level conspiracy by political opponents.

Anwar has been delivering nightly speeches at his house before thousands of supporters who have taken up the slogan, ,''Reformasi!'' (Reform).

Mahathir said on Thursday that police would indict Anwar once they had gathered sufficient evidence, and the federal police chief was quoted as saying the investigation was nearing completion.

Anwar has said he might be arrested under the Internal Security Act, which allows detention without charge, and opposition politicians have said they fear a crackdown.

''If they want to use the police, use the courts, go ahead, I will never surrender. We will never surrender,'' Anwar told the crowd, which responded in chorus: ''We will not surrender.''

''If one falls, one thousand more will rise,'' Anwar said.

Some members of the crowd shouted at cameramen, telling them to stop filming the gathering, but there was no pushing or violence, witnesses said.

Anwar accused the government of having told the mosque committee not to allow him to speak.

''I do not want the economy to be controlled by only two or three people,'' he said. ''We want to protect justice. We want our Moslem scholars to be protected.''

Anwar made light of newspaper allegations of homosexuality on his part and numerous sexual liaisons. ''Of course all the prostitutes know me and some dream of sleeping with me,'' he said.

It was the first time Anwar had left his suburban neighbourhood on the western outskirts of Kuala Lumpur since he was dismissed from the cabinet last week.

Anwar said he planned to travel to Bangi, near the site of the Commonwealth Games complex, later on Friday.

The games' opening ceremony was set for Friday evening at 8:30 p.m. (1230 GMT) and was to be witnessed by King Tuanku Ja'afar and Mahathir.