Black Flag convoy drive around KL to drum up support for July 31 protest

A convoy of cars with black flags are seen around Kuala Lumpur City Centre during a protest July 24, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
A convoy of cars with black flags are seen around Kuala Lumpur City Centre during a protest July 24, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 ― A convoy of 10 cars drove around the city centre today with black flags to indicate objection towards the government, under close watch by the police.

The cars made their way from Menara UOA, Bangsar Utama and spent about one hour driving around Kuala Lumpur landmarks such as Masjid Jamek, Brickfields, KL Sentral and Jalan Syed Putra.

Most of the cars had only single occupants who hung black flags from their vehicles and sounded their horns as they drove.

The organiser, Secretariat Solidarity Rakyat (SSR), announced the convoy with the hashtag #Lawan on their official Telegram group yesterday and thanked those who turned up for it.

Concurrent convoys were also held in Batu Pahat, Johor; Padang Serai, Kedah; Melaka; Penang; Kuantan and Temerloh, Pahang; Kota Kinabalu, Sabah; Kuching, Sarawak, Ipoh, Perak; and Kuala Langat in Selangor.

SSR spokesman Mohd Asraf Sharafi Mohd Azhar told Malay Mail that the original plan for the Kuala Lumpur group was to go to Dataran but the authorities cordoned off the area earlier so the convoy instead drove around the city centre.

“We just announced a rally point from here and everyone who wants to organise and join can do that. If there is a legal action, we have a hotline to call for that,” he said after the convoy ended.

Mohd Asraf added that the convoy was to gear up for the #Lawan rally scheduled for July 31.

“We are gearing towards the July 31 rally, tonight we will announce where the protest will take place,” he said.

The police presence in Kuala Lumpur was heavy as they cordoned off several areas including the side of Bangsar LRT Station as well as the road leading to Parliament building today.

Two patrol cars and several unmarked vehicles were also seen “escorting” the convoy closely during the procession as well as attending to the traffic this morning.

The police also called for dispersal when the convoy finished their journey in Bangsar at about 12.15 noon.

Bukit Aman Criminal Investigations Department director Datuk Seri Abd Jalil Hassan on July 4 said the police have opened investigation papers over the black flag campaign on social media for alleged sedition.

It was a day after SSR called on the public to wave black flags as a show of protest against the Perikatan Nasional government in administering the country throughout the challenging period of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On July 17, SSR organised a rally in Dataran Merdeka where about 20 youths were seen carrying black flags and urged Malaysians to express their dismay towards the government and the way the pandemic has been handled.

They also carried effigies of corpses — wrapped in white shrouds and tied at both ends, which is customary in Muslim burials — to symbolise the increasing number of deaths in Malaysia due to Covid-19.

In the rally SSR had demanded for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s resignation, a full Parliament sitting as well as an automatic loan moratorium for all.

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