TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Tanah Abang Metro Police Chief Comr. Singgih Hermawan confirmed the installation of white flags around Tanah Abang Market, Central Jakarta some time ago.
Photos of the white flags widely circulated on social media and became the public spotlight. Many considered the flag as a sign of surrendering to the Covid-19 pandemic as Malaysians did.
“It was not installed by the residents but by unknown persons,” said Singgih when met at the National Monument (Monas), Central Jakarta, Tuesday, July 27.
Singgih explained there were about 5-6 white flags around the market. However, because they hung on the side of the main roads, they were easily caught by residents’ and passersby’s eyes.
Singgih said the flags did not last long and were removed shortly after the photos went viral on social media. “They were removed by the traders, not us,” he added.
He appealed to people who would hoist similar objects to report to the police in advance. Although such an act was not a criminal offense, putting up white flags could cause public unrest.
White flags were also installed by entrepreneurs in several areas as a sign that they were having business difficulties due to the emergency state of the public mobility restrictions or the Emergency PPKM and its extended version PPKM Level 4 to curb Covid-19 spread.
Instead of flying white flags, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno asked the public to raise the Merah Putih national flag which he believed could boost spirit and optimism during the pandemic.
M JULNIS FIRMANSYAH