Batu Pahat police have arrested 20 youths including teenagers believed to have burned flares in front of a “Kerajaan Gagal” (Failed Government) banner.
They are local residents aged between 16 to 28 and have been remanded for four days until Monday (May 17).
In a statement today, Batu Pahat district police chief Ismail Dollah issued an update and confirmed the incident (above) happened at around 2am on the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri (May 13) yesterday.
It had taken place along Jalan Batu Pahat-Kluang trunk road in Johor. A video clip of the event has since gone viral on social media.
“The group, estimated to comprise 40 people, had set up a barricade using their motorcycles and cars (to block) other road users from using the road for 15 minutes and to draw their attention.
"They then spread a banner saying ‘Kerajaan Gagal’ and lighted flares and firecrackers.
“The banner was hung on an overhead pedestrian crossing located in front of SJKC Kong Nan after the incident.
“Up till now, the police have arrested 20 people who believed to be involved in the incident including those who made and hung the banner and lit the flares. Police have also seized the banner and remnants of the flares and firecrackers at the scene,” Ismail said.
Those detained are being investigated under Section 144 (for possessing weapons or missiles at unlawful assemblies), Section 268 (public nuisance) and Section 505(b) (statements conducing to public mischief with intent to cause or likely to cause fear or alarm of the public) of the Penal Code.
They are also being probed under Section 8 of the Explosives Act 1957 (penalty for making or possessing explosives under suspicious circumstances), Section 17(1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (disposal of the dead) and Section 48 of the Road Transport Act 1987 (obstruction by vehicle on road).
Umno supreme council member Mohd Puad Zakarshi has denied allegations that he had sponsored the youths in question.
The hashtag #KerajaanGagal began trending on social media last month targetting the Perikatan Nasional government over its perceived failure to contain the Covid-19 pandemic and other issues.