KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 6 — An online movement by Malaysians urging the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to implement five specific measures to ease hardships amid the Covid-19 pandemic has gained significant traction on social media over the past day.
The #KitaMintaLima (We Ask for Five) hashtag currently occupies the second-highest place on Twitter’s Trending Topics chart for Malaysia, with even the likes of Syahredzan Johan, a prominent lawyer and political aide to DAPs Lim Kit Siang, getting behind the movement.
At the time of writing, almost 40,000 tweets have been posted related to the movement.
An accompanying poster in the majority of tweets advocating the movement lists the five requests that it seeks from the Agong, all of which appear to be measures aimed at combating the economic and public health setbacks related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The movement’s first three demands are: a targeted and effective movement control order (MCO); a full show of support for frontliners with the channelling of all resources to combat Covid-19; and an automatic bank loan moratorium and cash handouts for the people for the entirety of the MCO.
The final two requests are: an equal and impartial enforcement of the standard operating procedures issued by the National Security Council; and devices and internet data for all students immediately.
“Or a change of government,” read the final caption in the poster.
— lullaby (@ellen4mj) February 5, 2021
It is believed the movement was started by user @Muhammad_Alias, who in his original thread of tweets yesterday evening noted how he had observed that comments found on the social media pages of Istana Negara and Islamist party PAS’ mouthpiece Harakah Daily appeared to be largely critical of the government.
“I read comments on Istana Negara’s Facebook, a majority of the people reject the current government.
“Read comments on HarahkahDaily’s Facebook site, the majority are mocking the Islamic party.
“Our government ladies and gentlemen,” he tweeted before listing the five requests to the Agong.
Kebawah DYMM Tuanku,
Patik sekalian Rakyat Malaysia memohon :
1. Perintah kawalan yang bersasar dan efektif.
2. Sokongan penuh kepada Frontliners dengan menyalurkan segala sumber bagi melawan Covid-19.
3. Moratorium bank automatik dan bantuan tunai kepada rakyat sepanjang PKP.
— #KitaMintaLima (@Muhammad_Alias) February 5, 2021
Syahredzan had in his tweet said he would support the movement, despite not knowing how it had originated.
“Who started it? Who is behind it?
“Don’t know, but I’ll get behind it too,” he tweeted.
So #KitaMintaLima is trending in Malaysia.
Who started it? Who is behind it?
Don’t know, but I’ll get behind it too. pic.twitter.com/KZLaknAez2
— Syahredzan Johan (@syahredzan) February 5, 2021
Another user (@SanHaiji), presumably a healthcare worker, also shared a poster of the movement, urging the Agong to “do the right thing”.
“For the sake of my patients, whom I’m treating in the ICU and their families, for every Malaysian who is struggling emotionally and physically.
“Do the right thing YDPA #KitaMintaLima,” read the tweet.
The recent MCO 2.0 commenced on January 13 and was supposed to end last Thursday, but has since been extended to February 18 as Covid-19 cases continue to rise across Malaysia.
Besides not being as stringent as the previous MCO implemented in March 2020, the government has been getting the flak for its apparently inconsistent standard operating procedures (SOP).
More recently, the government was heavily criticised by the public and lawmakers alike after it announced SOPs for Chinese New Year festivities that restrict family gatherings and other related events while allowing sectors like hair salons and night markets to reopen for business.