On Saturday (2 July), about 100 students and youth gathered at the Pasar Seni LRT station to held the #Turun demonstration to protest the rising cost of living.
The protest was led by a coalition of youth activist groups, where they aired their grievances over the alleged lack of substantive action from the government.
Speaking to The Vibes, second-year Universiti Malaya (UM) student Elisa Shafiqah said the government’s establishment of a special inflation task force is nothing to crow about.
“They call it a jihad but I think they’re being jahil (ignorant) for not listening to the rakyat,” she said.
Meanwhile, Elisa said she is worried about her studies being affected if the prices of goods continue to increase as she is from a low-income family.
At the same time, other participants also expressed a similar opinion. Angkatan Mahasiswa secretary Amirul Amin pointed out that even death is no longer a welcome respite.
Referring to Muslim funeral arrangements increasing to nearly RM2,000, he said that “Death is also as difficult as living.”
He then criticised the government for citing supply and demand imbalances as reasons for price hikes instead of working on solutions to address the dire situation faced by the people.
“The government will give plenty of excuses to explain the issue, but they have yet to provide ways to fix the problem,” he said.
On the other hand, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) student union president Aliff Naif Mohd Fizam said students will shoulder the burden of voicing out against government inadequacies.
“Others are worried about their jobs and families being put at risk if they were to make their opinions known so let us speak for the people,” he said.
“The rakyat are depending on us, we cannot remain silent anymore.”
Participants being hauled in by police
Following the protest, the coalition of youth activist groups said 8 people were called in by the Dang Wangi district police headquarters for questioning.
“Gabungan Gerakan Mahasiswa is in solidarity with those summoned and urges authorities to not intimidate those involved.”
“We believe that there is no need to investigate them as the right to assemble is enshrined in the constitution.” the group said in a statement.