KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 — Pahang police chief Datuk Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf has refuted a news report that police officers ordered several residents in Bukit Setongkol in Kuantan to remove the white flags placed in front of their houses.

In the statement last night, Ramli said some were ordered to be taken down as they were pinned on electric poles.

“That report is inaccurate. The police did not threaten. What happened, as reported by the Kuantan district police chief, was because the individual had placed the flag on an electric pole.

“The police have no objection for the white flags to be displayed, as there are no law provisions or standard operating procedures (SOPs) which state that such an act is a violation of the laws, at the moment. No objections from the police actually. Maybe the advice was taken otherwise,” he said.

Sinar Harian reported some 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 on Thursday on the instructions of an individual said to have been accompanied by three police officers.

Ramli said that he has also ordered that no action be taken if white flags are displayed at “places it should be”.

“Of course if it obstructs traffic and others, it is an offence. But for the sake of flagging and not obstructing or others, there is no objection,” he added.

Residents said they 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.