Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin today voiced support for the #BenderaPutih campaign, launched on social media to urge those in need of help during the ongoing lockdown to raise a white flag outside their homes, even as members of the opposition zoomed in on the initiative as proof of the government’s failure to pay heed to the people’s well-being.
“I am together in this #benderaputih campaign to identify those who need help,” she said in a post on Twitter and Facebook.
“There is no need to beg and no need to be embarrassed. Just raise the flag.”
Her post coincided with a statement by an Amanah Youth leader who said the campaign was evidence that the people could no longer weather the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic by depending on government aid.
“This campaign which has gone viral is clear proof that the government has failed to attend to the people’s well-being during the movement control order,” Shazni Munir Mohd Ithnin, the Pakatan Harapan Youth chief, added.
“The government is too busy finding excuses and opportunities to continue its grip on power without any compassion whatsoever for those who have been affected by the pandemic.”
Zuraida meanwhile urged those in need of help not to do anything that would cause pain to their loved ones.
“We can no longer stand to see pictures and videos of our friends killing themselves,” she said.
“Let those around you come together to help as much as they can.”
Yesterday, the government announced another round of financial assistance under the RM150 billion Pemulih plan, including hundreds of thousands of ringgit in allocations for MPs for the distribution of food baskets in their constituencies, as well as RM10 million specifically for the Orang Asli community.
It also announced a loss of income aid and allocations for NGOs to help the government address social issues such as mental health and homelessness, as well as RM4.6 billion for Covid-19 Special Assistance involving 11 million households, individuals and senior citizens.
This came in the wake of another announcement that the lockdown under the movement control order, scheduled to end on June 28 after having been extended once before, would continue until several key threshold indicators for the country’s progress in terms of the pandemic are met.