Accompanying the effigies was a banner that read ‘Kita mati dalam derhaka’.
Fourteen black flags were waved in the breeze and effigies of five “dead bodies” wrapped in white shrouds were laid out at Dataran Merdeka as part of a flash mob organised by Sekretariat Solidariti Rakyat (SSR) today (July 17).
In a statement, the group said the effigies represented the increasing death toll from Covid-19, as well as suicide cases.
Accompanying the effigies was a banner that read “Kita mati dalam derhaka” (We die in treason) with the hashtag #keluardanlawan (go out and fight).
The banner was inspired by a poem by the late Kassim Ahmad, which ended with the lines “Kian lama kita mati dalam setia, kali ini kita hidup dalam derhaka!” (For so long we have died in obedience, now we live in treason).
Meanwhile, the 14 black flags represented “the people’s anger” in all states and territories as shown by the use of hashtags such as #lawan and #KerajaanGagal on social media.
“We stress that the credibility of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government in curbing the Covid-19 pandemic has failed, and even the plight of people who raised a white flag was mocked while Covid-19 cases spiral.
“The people will either die of hunger because they don’t have income or die because of Covid-19 infection. And yet the prime minister can still make a stupid joke about raising a blue flag,” SSR said.
This was in reference to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s remarks on Thursday, where he said there was no need to raise white or black flags, but that blue flags were OK – in reference to PN’s colours.
SSR in its statement made three demands, namely for Muhyiddin to resign, for a full Parliament session to be held that was not just a “government ceramah” (lecture), and for automatic moratoriums to be extended to everyone.
Parliament will convene on July 26 for five days. However, the itinerary given indicated that the bulk of the session would be spent on briefings on the Covid-19 situation from the government.
Meanwhile, loan moratoriums are available to all, but upon request. Critics have also hit out at the fact that interest will still accrue during the moratorium period.
SSR further urged the people to wear black to show their disappointment in the PN government.
The flash mob lasted about 40 minutes, with police presence.
However, no arrests were made, and police only took photographs of the identity card of one of the protest organisers.
In a statement later, police said it had identified three of the organisers and would be calling them in for questioning.
Police said all those who partook in the flash mob would be issued compounds for breach of Regulation 10 – Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Regulations (Measures within Infected Local Areas) (National Recovery Plan) 2021 – which prohibits demonstrations.
Police estimated around 20 people participated in the flash mob.