KUALA LUMPUR, July 1 — Several residents in Bukit Setongkol in Kuantan, Pahang, reportedly claimed they were ordered to remove the white flags placed in front of their houses, after it was placed there as a plea for help.
Sinar Harian reported the residents as saying that they were told putting up the white flags was considered an offence, and that a fine would be issued if they failed to take them down.
The flags were placed on Tuesday, and removed yesterday on the instructions of an individual said to have been accompanied by three police officers.
One resident, who only wanted to be known as Ana, 43, said the other residents and herself decided to raise the flags as most of them have almost run out of food supplies.
She added the flags were set up at the entrance of their residential area and at the back, to serve as a signal to others who may be able to come forward to donate food supplies.
“Most of us here worked as traders and labourers, who lost our sources of income when the movement control order 3.0 was implemented.
“Indeed after the flags went up an association stopped by to donate goods, but then a local leader came by and reprimanded us to take it down, as it is an offence and not permitted by the police,” she said, during a visit by Teruntum assemblyman Sim Chong Siang earlier today.
Ana said the residents were confused when told it is an offence to raise a white flag, as there is an ongoing social media campaign nationwide to do so, and some who raised white flags received aid.
A video of the incident went online on Facebook, which drew Internet users’ attention.
On his part, Sim who is from PKR said the order to remove the white flag raised by residents who need aid should not have occurred.
“If indeed this is disallowed by the police, it should be explained as such as there have been no problems elsewhere.
“The objective of this campaign is to make it easier for aid and supplies to be channelled to those who need it the most and are desperate,” he said.
Sim added the local leader in question should have realised the meaning of the white flag, and come by to find out and if needed to render assistance.
The assemblyman also provided aid to the families in Bukit Setonglok during his visit.