More than 100 youths broke their fast in front of the Malaysian Parliament on the evening of April 30, 2021.
The protest was organised by a group called Sekreteriat Solidariti Rakyat (SSR), a coalition of youth civil groups including MUDA and Undi18.
Protesting for six demands
According to a report by Malaysiakini, the protesters were protesting for the Malaysian government to implement six demands as part of #EnamTuntutan (six demands):
- Reconvening legislative meetings in Parliament
- Lowering the voting age to 18
- Safe education
- Economic sustainability
- Recognition of the rights of Sabah and Sarawak
- Fair application of the law to be upheld
The youths gathered at Taman Tugu in Kuala Lumpur before making their way to a spot outside Parliament, where they listened to speeches and broke their fast.
Protesters were also seen holding signs which said "Buka Puasa, Buka Parlimen", which directly translates to "open fast, open the Parliament"
The youths also ensured that they were wearing masks and maintaining a safe distance from one another, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some of the protesters include Tharma Pillai from Undi18 and former Malaysian Prime Minister's son and political party Pejuang's president Mukhriz Mahathir.
Quran recitations and evening prayers
In a report by Free Malaysia Today, activities included reciting the Quran and excerpts relating to a "tyrannical government", breaking fast together and evening prayers.
This was the second protest in front of Parliament, with the first held on Mar. 27 to demand lowering the voting age to 18.
A law was passed in 2019 to lower the voting age, but the Malaysian Election Commission recently announced that this would be delayed until 2022, instead of July 2021 as originally intended.
If the next Malaysian general election is held in 2021, as some speculate, then the youths will not get the chance to vote.
In a report by Malaysiakini, Tharma said that the youths are angry due to a worsened situation after a year of facing the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Businesses are closing and the unemployment rate is at 4.8 per cent. What saddens us most is that the Covid-19 protocols are still a mess.
"Yet, there is clearly double standards in terms of enforcement because ministers and the elite are not punished, while normal folks are saddled with huge fines."
Recently, a burger seller in Kelantan was fined RM50,000 for cooking after operating hours, although the proprietor said he was cooking orders for the next day and there were no customers in his stall at the time.
Malaysia's king declared a state of emergency on Jan. 12 which is said to last till Aug. 1.
Since the emergency was called, Parliament sittings have been suspended and the federal government has been granted additional powers to tackle the health crisis.
Top image from @takterqyira on Twitter.