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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Cops to question five #Lawan protest organisers

Five members of Sekretariat Solidariti Rakyat have been called up for police questioning in connection with their roles as organisers of the #Lawan protest in Kuala Lumpur earlier today.

The organisers in a statement issued several hours after hundreds of protesters peacefully dispersed, said all five individuals, accompanied by their lawyers, will be present at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters at 10am tomorrow.

Police figures capped the number of protesters at 400 people while organisers claimed a participation of some 2,000 people along a 3km stretch of road heading towards Dataran Merdeka from the Kuala Lumpur City Hall building.

SSR identified the five individuals as Mohamad Abdullah Alshatry, Mohammad Asraf Sharafi bin Mohammad Azhar, Tharmelinggem Pillai, Qyira Yusri and Sevan Doraisamy.

"We thank the thousands of youths who were physically present or showed their support online today," said the group, adding there were more than 272,000 tweets related to the protest and their demands.

The three main demands of the protest, respectively,  were calling for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's resignation, for Parliament to continue sitting and for an automatic loan moratorium for all Malaysians.

SSR expressed regret that they were prevented from gathering at Dataran Merdeka as originally planned, arguing it was a much larger space to facilitate a safe social distancing.

"We successfully managed to adhere to the standard operating procedures with all protesters wearing their masks and keeping a distance from one another," they said.

The organisers had appointed "marshalls" whose roles included enforcing crowd control.

One of them was seen breaking up a brief commotion sparked by a group of rowdy protesters who were believed to have flashed a crude sign at a passing police patrol car.

The individual was heard repeatedly telling the group to ensure they remain disciplined and keep to a safe distance at all times.

"Today, our participants have shown that we can and are capable of protesting on the streets safely to uphold our rights," said SSR, stressing that they would continue to speak up for those who were silenced or hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dang Wangi district police chief Zainal Abdullah earlier said actions would be taken as although the rally went on without any problems, it remains a violation of the current movement control order rules.

 - Mkini

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