Malaysians protest against GST in biggest May Day rally
At least 20,000 were reported to have participated in May Day rally 2014 in Kuala Lumpur against the goods and services tax (GST) and demanding for better protection of workers’ rights. Believed to be the biggest ever May Day rally in the history of Malaysia the people demanded the government to stop the GST and protect all workers’ rights immediately.
The demonstration themed “Anti GST – Until it is dropped” was held to coincide with International Labour Day as people gathered to show their displeasure for the suffering faced due to the rising cost of living and their worry over the impending GST.
The rally which was organized by a coalition of 95 NGO’s saw people arriving at four meeting points at KLCC, Sogo, Dataran Maybank and Jalan Raja Laut. Around 2 pm they were moving towards Dataran Merdeka while chanting “Gasak Sampai Tumbang” and “Hidup Rakyat”.
At around 3.45 pm a change of weather saw signs of impending rain but even with a threat of heavy downpour it did not deter the participants from taking part in the rally which was started with speeches from civil society leaders including Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah and her predecesor S Ambiga, Himpunan Hijau Chairman Wong Tack, Parti Socialis Malaysia secretary general S. Arutchelvan.
PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who took the stage about 4.20 pm said the huge turnout was a clear sign that the people are against the implementation of GST.
As the crowd move out from Dataran Merdeka fight broke out when a group of 50 youths carrying a logo with the words “Antifa (anti-fascists) Malaysia started throwing bottles and flares at the media who were positioned in front of them. Social activist Chegu Bard says the youths are not from any of the student groups involved in organising the rally, such as SAMM.
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