KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — Over 2,000 youths were estimated to have gathered for the #Lawan rally heading to Dataran Merdeka earlier today, its organiser Sekretariat Solidariti Rakyat (SSR) claimed today.
It estimated that with the social distancing observed by the participants, a three-kilometre line was formed.
“Over 2,000 youths took to the streets to push for [prime minister Tan Sri] Muhyiddin Yassin to resign, with over 272,000 tweets on #Lawan, and 20,000 tweets pushing for Dataran Merdeka to be opened,” said SSR in a statement.
It added that this is the proof of the public’s, particularly youths, dissatisfaction of the country’s administration and its handling of Covid-19.
“This evening, we were just informed that five organisers from our Sekretariat have been called in to provide statements at the Dang Wangi police district headquarters, at 10am tomorrow.
“The five include Mohamad Al Shatri Abdullah, Mohammad Asraf Sharafi Mohammad Azhar, Tharmelinggem Pillai, Qyira Yusri, and Sevan Doraisamy,” said SSR.
It also expressed disappointment that the rally’s participants were unable to march to Dataran Merdeka, despite the police themselves acknowledging that events went smoothly.
“We chose Dataran Merdeka as the location would make the control of standard operating procedures (SOP) easier, particularly social distancing. We managed to control the SOPs well, as all participants wore face masks and kept their distances with one another.
“Today the demonstrators have shown that we can and are able to protest on the streets safely in order to defend our rights. Thank you to the participants and our volunteers for heeding the instructions of the protest’s marshals and complying with the SOPs fully,” said SSR.
The civil society organisation said Malaysian youths are speaking out for those among the rakyat who cannot, or will not come out to protest, even though they are feeling the effects of the failed administration.
The rally, which took place after several weeks of planning on social media, began at around 10am. After discovering the authorities had closed off all entry points into Dataran Merdeka, participants were diverted to Masjid Jamek shortly after 10am.
It is demanding for Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to step down as prime minister, for the Parliament to be reopened, and for automatic loan moratorium for Malaysians.