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Wednesday, Sept 16
Malaysian police insulted by comparison to Israelis
By JOCELYN GEKCER (Associated Press)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - The national police chief of this mainly Muslim country said Wednesday that being called a pirate is OK, but he would not tolerate ousted deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim comparing his men to Israeli security police.

Inspector General of Police Abdul Rahim Noor said charges would be pressed against Anwar if he continued holding public rallies without a permit and predicted more arrests of the former Cabinet minister's associates.

Abdul Rahim reacted angrily to what Anwar said Tuesday night to supporters gathered at his home, that the harassment and arrest of his relatives, friends and former employees was reminiscent of the East German and Israeli secret police.

Neither Malaysian news media, nor Abdul, bothered about the East German reference.

''We can no longer tolerate it when he accuses us of being similar to Israel,'' Abdul told local reporters. ''If he had accused us of being similar to pirates, then we could accept that. But not that he equates us with Israel, because Israel is a sensitive word in this country.''

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad dumped Anwar as his deputy and finance minister on Sept. 2, saying he was immoral and unfit to lead the Southeast Asian nation. Since then, Anwar has been speaking to thousands of supporters almost nightly at his home, meeting with opposition politicians, and holding public rallies challenging his dismissal as a political conspiracy.

Anwar said Wednesday the man who had been his private secretary at the deputy prime minister's office was arrested, bringing the number of arrested associates to five.

Anwar said the former secretary, Mohamed Azmin Ali, had gone to the federal police headquarters with his attorney, as ordered, for questioning. When Mohamed arrived, Anwar said, he was arrested.

Police chief Abdul Rahim said several more arrests would take place in the next few days, even if those sought were in Anwar's house, the national news agency, Bernama, reported.

''If there is no permit, he cannot (hold rallies),'' Abdul Rahim said. But when he was asked if police would arrest Anwar himself, Abdul Rahim replied, ''Be patient ...''

Anwar has said the police are not arresting him now because they do not want an embarrassing incident during the Commonwealth Games and the visit, from Sept. 21, of Queen Elizabeth II. Yet, he said, associates are detained and are pressured to give evidence against him.

''I don't know if it's (the) East German system or the Shabak (Shin Bet) or Mossad,'' Anwar said, speaking Malaysian.

The Shin Bet security service, called Shabak in Arabic, deals with internal Israeli security, while the Mossad is Israel's intelligence agency, dealing with external security, similar to the CIA in the United States.

When asked Wednesday what he meant by the comparisons, Anwar told The Associated Press, ''I'm talking about the ... whole line of secret service.'' He said meant the East German secret police's reputation for ''intimidation and torturing people to admit things they did not do.''

And the Israelis? Anwar did not answer, but turned to shake hands with well-wishers.