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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

No Dataran Merdeka, FT minister tells anti-GST brigade

APRIL 20, 2014
Organisers of a GST rally on May Day will not be allowed to congregate
at Dataran Merdeka, Federal Territories minister said today. File photo of
the participants of an anti-GST rally holding banners in front of Parliament
in Kuala Lumpur October 25, 2013. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 — City Hall will not allow organisers of a May Day rally to congregate at Dataran Merdeka, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor said today.

The federal territories minister warned protestors to steer clear of the historic city square.

He added that the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) had not received any notice for a gathering there to oppose Putrajaya’s roll-out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) next year.

“But even if they asked we will not allow it, that’s for sure,” he told reporters here.

Tengku Adnan, who is also secretary-general for Umno and the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, linked the planned protest to attempts by the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) opposition pact to score political brownie points with the masses.

“GST is being implemented for the future of the country. The opposition doesn’t plan for anything,” he said.

Drawing similarities to the ongoing water rationing in the capital and in Selangor due to receding water levels in dams, Tengku Adnan said Pakatan Rakyat leaders are not capable to planning for the country’s future.

“The federal government had asked the Selangor government, four years ago, to approve Langat 2 but they didn’t to and insisted on giving free water.

“Now the people are suffering and the project is going to be delayed by another three years,” he said.

The planned May 1 rally is organised by a coalition of 89 non-government organisations, including workers rights group Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (Jerit).

The plan is to gather at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre and march from there to Dataran Merdeka.

The rally, themed “GST — Protest till it is dropped”, is to coincide with the International Worker’s Day celebration.

The GST Bill was passed through the lower house on April 7, despite stern resistance, ensuring that the consumption tax starts at a flat rate of 6 per cent beginning April 1 next year.

The tax is expected to help Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration rein in spending and tackle the government’s chronic budget deficit. 

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