Johor DAP rep: Reconvene Parliament to address public discontent like Parit Raja flash mob protest

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Johor DAP vice-chairman Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali said the recent incident involving mainly youths that took place in Parit Raja, Batu Pahat on May 13 clearly indicated that the PN ruling government should not hide behind the Emergency and resume parliamentary sittings. — File picture by Roysten Rueben
Johor DAP vice-chairman Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali said the recent incident involving mainly youths that took place in Parit Raja, Batu Pahat on May 13 clearly indicated that the PN ruling government should not hide behind the Emergency and resume parliamentary sittings. — File picture by Roysten Rueben

JOHOR BARU, May 15 — A Johor DAP leader today called on the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to urgently reconvene Parliament in an effort to address pressing national issues, claiming the recent flash mob protest in Batu Pahat is a sign of growing public discontent.

Johor DAP vice-chairman Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali said the recent incident involving mainly youths that took place in Parit Raja, Batu Pahat on May 13 clearly indicated that the PN ruling government should not hide behind the Emergency and resume parliamentary sittings.

In addition, he claimed that the Emergency declaration over the Covid-19 pandemic is seen as ineffective as the government has failed to listen to public grouses.

“When the government failed to adhere to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree that the august house can sit during the Emergency, many voices of the common people could not be raised to the government through the Dewan Rakyat in Parliament.

“With that, more people will use alternative channels to express their difficulties or unhappiness,” said Sheikh Umar in a statement issued here today.

He was commenting on last Thursday’s flash mob protest by youths with flares and a banner with the phrase “Kerajaan Gagal” (“Failed Government”) in Parit Raja, Batu Pahat.

Sheikh Umar, who is also the Johor DAP Youth chief and Paloh assemblyman, cautioned the government not to stand in the way of democracy.

“The common people will choose other democratic spaces for expression and to display their dissatisfaction with the failure of this government.

“Just look at Parit Raja. When this happens, the government should not blame the people as they deserve it,” he said in reference to the incident that some alleged was due to youth anger and discontent with the ruling PN government.

The 36-year-old social activist also criticised the PN government over its handling of the national economy, inconsistent policies and alleged administrative incompetence.

“In a situation where the economy is ailing, government policies are seen as inconsistent with double standards happening in many cases involving the administration of Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP).

“In addition to that, there is the interference in police appointments and many other issues that arise,” alleged Sheikh Umar, adding that these issues show Parliament must be allowed to sit immediately.

The flash mob protest, that has been widely shared on social media platforms, was held on May 13, in the early hours of the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri on Thursday.

Some 20 individuals were arrested by the police to assist investigations into the incident.

Malaysia is under a nationwide movement control order (MCO) from May 12 to June 7.

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