Youth group: Street demonstrations only alternative

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Protests are the only way for the public to get its demands for change heard by Putrajaya, youth coalition Sekretariat Solidariti Rakyat (SSR) said.

For this reason, the group will continue its campaign of street demonstrations until all three of its demands are met, SSR spokesman Mohd Asraf Sharafi Mohd Azhar said.

SSR demands the resignation of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, a full parliamentary sitting, and a moratorium on bank loan repayments for all.

Asyraf told The Malaysian Insight people can best demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the government in the streets.

He said numerous petitions have been launched against the Perikatan Nasional government.

For example, there is the petition demanding the resignation of International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali, which has garnered more than 250,000 signatures.

Asyraf also noted the memoranda submitted by various parties echoing the call for the prime minister to relinquish his position.

Gabungan Bertindak Memorandum Rakyat Malaysia had on July 14 submitted its sixth memorandum to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, urging Muhyiddin and his cabinet to resign.

Asyraf said although organisers are worried about Covid-19 infection, they are determined to hold protests.

However, the demonstrations must be conducted in conditions that do not exacerbate the virus crisis, he stressed.

“We understand the situation with the contagious Delta variant, so we recommend that everyone wears double masks and make sure there is social distancing.

Kamal Ariffin/TMI

“We have among us advisers who work in the health sector, from whom we seek guidance,” he said.

On July 17, SSR held a peaceful anti-government protest at Dataran Merdeka, where protesters brandished black flags and a banner with the hashtag #KeluarDanLawan (#Come out and fight).

“The black flags are a symbol of resistance and opposition to a system that is unfair and does not side with the people.

“There were 14 flags to represent each state with people who are angry at our government,” Asyraf said.

Protesters also carried mock corpses to emphasise the many Covid-19 deaths and suicides due to the government’s failure to contain the outbreak.

Following the event, Asyraf and two others, Mohd Alsatri of Suaram and poet Taufik Azhar, were fined RM2,000 each for breaching the movement control order.

Asyraf added that the next peaceful assembly is expected to take place on July 31, a day before the end of the emergency. The time and venue of the rally will be announced.

While the coaltions’s demonstrations have been held mainly in the Klang Valley, Asyraf said SSR, which consists of 20 organisations, has representatives from all over the country.

“We are making progress and I will not refuse to hold protests in other states after this.

“We can’t just settle for one or two street demonstrations, we must keep up the pressure.” – TMI