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Malaysians' white flags put COVID economic pain on full display

Cash-strapped citizens cry for help as severe outbreak prolongs lockdown

A man who lost his job amid Malaysia's coronavirus restrictions hangs a white flag outside his Kuala Lumpur home on July 5.   © Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR -- In normal times, passersby would assume Karupiah Rangan had hung his white dhoti up to dry. But when the factory worker raised the traditional Indian sarong outside his wooden house this week, it was a plea for help.

Karupiah, 54, joined thousands of Malaysians seeking aid by displaying the international symbol of surrender. These people are telling the world they have lost the battle for financial survival through the various COVID-19 restrictions imposed since March 2020.

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