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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Anti-GST rally planned for May 1

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 06:11

An anti-Goods and Services Tax (GST) protest will be held on May 1, with a rally planned from Dataran Merdeka to the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) iconic Twin Tower.

A committee for the rally however said the details of the rally has yet to be worked out since they would have to work it out with the authorities.

A coalition of some 90 non-governmental organisations and Pakatan Rakyat parties would mobilise Malaysians for the rally, to send a clear message against the government that could possibly enforce the tax beginning Apr next year.

Committee member Dr Hatta Ramli said the next 30 days would be spent to work out on the logistics for the rally, meant to send a "clear message" to the government.

Hatta who is also PAS central working committee member said the introduction of the tax would only burden the people further especially to the lower income group who did not need to pay for income tax.

He also pointed out that the introduction of the GST was the result of the failure of the current government to work on the current tax system especially the high income earner who manage to evade tax.

"It is a short cut way to victimise the defenceless public," he said in a press conference held by the committee here. ;

The press conference was also attended by other committee members including Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) secretary general S. Arutchelvan and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (KeADILan) strategy director Rafizi Ramli.

Arutchelvan said if the public did not make a protest this year, they would end up having to put up with GST "April Fools" joke next year.

He pointed out that many carricatures and cartoons use for the GST campaign.

The rally - themed ‘GST - Protest till it is dropped’ - also aimed to draw the participation of students, who will be among the hardest hit by the tax due to be imposed from April next year.

Rally coordinator E. Parameswari said May 1 rallies have been held in Malaysia since 1994, but hoped that this will be the biggest yet in terms of turnout.

Among the NGOs who have pledged support are Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia, Turun, Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Oppressed People's Network and Himpunan Hijau.

Other issues to be highlighted include the ongoing demand for a minimum wage of RM1,500, fair and free elections, environmental protection, free education, and the rights of women workers and migrant workers.

Rafizi said Pakatan parliamentarians would go all out to fight the Bill in the Dewan Rakyat and even in the courts.

He said the party also backs street rallies as an alternative democratic route as "BN is only afraid of the people's power". -Harakahdaily

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