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Monday, January 13, 2014

Street protests expected to peak when GST implemented

Written by Pavithiraa Ramasamy, (contributor to 
Friday, 10 January 2014 18:21
Last Updated: 6:15pm, Jan 10, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 10): Street protests over the rising cost of living are expected to continue this year and peak when the Goods and Services Tax comes into force next year.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said street protests were one the police's main concern as the rising cost of living was not in line with the rakyat’s salary.

"This situation will continue and will peak in 2015 when the GST is implemented,” he said.

He also expects political issues that will be played up by political parties in preparation for the next general election to contribute towards the street rallies.

He said street rallies were never peaceful contrary their name, so the police have to take necessary measures to handle all possibilities.

"There is no such thing as a peaceful rally in our country, at least there will be a bottle throwing incident or someone getting punched," he said.

Khalid also criticised rally organisers that do not follow the provisions of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

"According to the law the police are supposed to facilitate any rally or demonstration … but it must follow the law," he added.

Khalid also alleged that the rally organisers seldom take the effort to inform the police of any rally merely to put police in bad light.

The IGP also denied labelling the New Year's Eve anti-price hike rally as one to topple the government. He said this was highlighted in the alternative media and the police were mainly responding to it.

“Are we supposed to keep quiet about it? Is this child's play? It is a serious call. Should we not take action?" he asked.

“We must take steps to keep thing in order … we don’t want anything untoward to happen," he added.

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