| December 21, 2013
A crowd of only 200 people attended the launch of Pakatan Rakyat's anti-GST campaign held at the Sultan Sulaiman Sports Club last night.
KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Rakyat’s “Understand GST, Reject GST” campaign launch last night only managed to attract a crowd of 200 people.
It was surprising since top Pakatan leaders such as opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang were in attendance.
However, PKR vice-president Tian Chua at a press conference last night simply said the crowd size does not make the issue any less serious.
“People are slowly facing the impact. Once they feel it in their pockets, we will see a bigger crowd.
“Today is just the launching and not a mass rally. This is just the introduction before a whole year of mobilisation,” he said.
PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli explained how people are still confused on the goods and services tax (GST).
“That’s why we are here to impart knowledge on what the GST is all about. We will soon have public rallies on the GST.
“Only after they understand GST will we see the momentum of how people are against it,” he said.
During his speech last night, Rafizi said those who want the GST to be implemented are more than welcome to migrate to other countries like Cambodia and Laos.
“Many Umno macai (blind supporters) when talking to me about the GST asked me to look at other countries like Cambodia and Laos. Well, if you like it (GST) so much, go live in Cambodia and Laos then,” he said.
Lim on the other hand rationalised how the the country will not go bankrupt if it does not implement the taxation system.
“Some say that without the GST, the country will go bankrupt. But just look at the United States (US), is the country bankrupt?
“Greece implements the GST, but are they not bankrupt? Also, If Malaysia becomes bankrupt, who should be responsible?
“Should it be PKR, DAP or PAS when it was the BN which had governed the country for the past 56 years?” Lim told the crowd.
The Gelang Patah MP explained that the issue was not about utilising a particular tax system or otherwise, but because a particular country is full of corruption, wastage and leakages.
“It is important for various wastage to be eliminated first before the country is ready for GST,” he said.
Anwar was in tandem with his Pakatan colleague, saying that the issue was not about the system itself, rather, it was because the government always take sides with its cronies.
“It is not because of the system. When I took over as Finance Minister back then, after studying the system, I found that it was efficient and transparent.
“Well, it can be transparent if there’s no leakages,” he added.
PKR deputy president Azmin Ali hit out at Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s wife Rosmah Mansor over her usage of the government’s private jets for visits abroad.
“This is one of the instances of power abuse. Tun Siti Hasmah and Dr Wan Azizah never used the private jets when they were the wives of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister respectively,” he said.