200 protesters gather at PM’s residence

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Around 200 people, clad in black, staged a protest at the parking lot of the Prime Minister’s official residence and called on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to fulfil their eight demands.

Hari Anggara

The demands include allowing another Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawal, the full restoration of diesel subsidies, a reduction in the cost of living and ensuring the welfare of health workers.

The protest, led by Penggerak Demi Negara, also wants a sufficient supply of local white rice, equal allocations for all elected representatives, a commitment to freedom of speech, and the rejection of International Monetary Fund (IMF) policies.

Earlier, it was reported that there was a heavy police presence in the area ahead of the 4pm protest.

A barricade was also set up leading to the main entrance of the Prime Minister’s residence.

This followed Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Rusdi Mohd Isa’s call to the organiser to drop plans for the protest as the landowner, Putrajaya Corporation, did not give the group permission to stage a protest there.

Spokesman Aidil Yunus, a YouTuber known as YB Viral, said if Anwar fails to do so a second round of protest will be held in Tambun, Perak — where Anwar is the MP.

“Our second round, we will go to Tambun. We give Anwar 30 days to react and fulfil our demands,” he told reporters after the rally called “Demo Rakyat Lawan Anwar” (Malay for “People’s Rally Against Anwar”).

Sayuti Zainudin

“The 30 days is for him to come up and announce his actions towards our eight demands. Then we’ll evaluate and see what’s next,” he added.

Aidil also claimed that “a few hundred thousand” watched the event online on social media.

“The crowd will get even bigger in the future when the government raises the RON95 price,” he said.

The rally saw protesters, mostly Malays, clad in black chanting “rakyat bangkit” (Malay for “people rise up”) and “halau BlackRock” (“chase BlackRock away”, in reference to the MAHB share deal), “lawan Anwar” (“fight Anwar”) and “Anwar undur” (“Anwar resign”) were repeatedly shouted from time to time.

Sayuti Zainudin

The placards they brought were blaming Anwar for the country’s problems.

Ten speakers, including Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s Datuk Tun Faisal Ismail Aziz and Badrul Hisham Shaharin or Chegubard, had accused Anwar of “scamming” the voters after leading the government post-15th general election.

Besides Aidil, organiser Demi Negara’s public faces also included 80s singer-turned-PAS influencer Dayangku Intan (real name Tunku Intan Abdul Hamid) and Sarawakian activist Siti Zulaikha Olivia, also known as Mak Iban Olivia.