Thursday, May 30, 2024
HomeAsian NewsMalaysians affected by lockdown hoist white flag for help

Malaysians affected by lockdown hoist white flag for help


Author: EILEEN NG
Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (Associated Press)-When Mohamad Nor Abdullah hung a white flag outside the window late at night, he did not expect to gain support quickly. In the morning, dozens of strangers knocked on his door, offering food, cash and encouragement.

On July 3, Malaysia’s nationwide blockade to curb the coronavirus surge was further tightened, prohibiting people in certain areas from leaving their homes, except for food and necessities.

It made Muhammad Knoll into despair. He sells packaged nasi lemak, a popular nasi lemak with condiments, at roadside stalls every morning to make ends meet, but this income has disappeared and government assistance is insufficient.

The White Flag campaign that appeared on social media last week aimed to help people like Mohamad Nor, who was 29 years old and was born without weapons. By chance, he saw this activity on Facebook and decided to try to ask for help.

“This is unexpected. So many people reached out to help, support and encourage me,” Mohamed Nou said, sitting in his dim room, holding boxes of biscuits, rice, and cooking oil in his hand. And water, these biscuits, rice, cooking oil and water were quickly donated to him. He said that the kind Samaritan was willing to help pay his rent, and that this assistance should be enough for him to spend the next few months.

(Hash) The Bendrapti movement began as a response of Malaysian society to the rising suicide rate that is believed to be related to the economic hardship caused by the pandemic. In the first five months of this year, the police reported 468 suicides, an average of 4 per day, a significant increase from 631 in 2020.

Social media posts urged people to raise white flags or white cloths to indicate that they need immediate help, “without begging or embarrassing.” Dozens of food retailers and celebrities have offered help, and many Malaysians drove nearby in search of white flags.

Thousands of people have lost their jobs since Malaysia enacted various restrictions, including the coronavirus emergency that has been suspended by Parliament since January. The strict nationwide blockade imposed on June 1 is the second time in more than a year.

The number of coronavirus cases in Malaysia has jumped to more than 778,000, which is nearly seven times that of the whole of last year, and the death toll exceeds 5,400.

Reports about families getting quick help after raising the white flag warmed the hearts of Malaysians. A single mother and her teenage daughter survived on biscuits for several days. They were fed by neighbors. A debt hawker who was on the verge of dying of life received cash to start anew. A Myanmar refugee family who survived only one meal a day got instant Food supply.

Although many people praised the White Flag Movement as a manifestation of unity and solidarity, not everyone agrees.

Legislators from an Islamic party in the ruling coalition aroused public outrage when they told people to pray to God instead of waving a white flag to surrender. A chief minister of the state criticized the campaign as propaganda for the government of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

It provokes imitators. An animal association encourages people who are financially disadvantaged and unable to feed their pets to display red flags.

Anti-government protesters launched a black flag movement over the weekend. Opposition lawmakers and others raised black flags on social media, demanding that the prime minister resign, end the emergency and allow parliament to reopen. However, according to reports, the police stated that they are investigating the instigation of the Black Flag movement, public hoaxes and abuse of network facilities for attacks.

Muhyiddin came to power in March 2020 after a political exercise overthrew the former reformist government, facing fierce challenges from the opposition and his own coalition. Support for his leadership cannot be tested with the suspension of Parliament.

Muhyiddin’s office announced that the House of Commons would resume on July 26, just days before the emergency expired on August 1, succumbing to pressure from the king and Malay rulers.

James Chin, an Asian expert at the University of Tasmania in Australia, said the White Flag movement may provoke public anger at the government’s inability to respond to the crisis.

“The White Flag Movement will undoubtedly be used as the main political weapon to show that the government is a huge failure,” he said.



Source link

RELATED ARTICLES

Most Popular

Recent Comments