Thousands rally against Malaysia’s Goods and Services Tax

Kuala Lumpur, April 2 (IANS) Thousands of people joined a rally in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday to protest against the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the first anniversary of its implementation.

Police cordoned off the intended venue, Dataran Merdeka, leaving protesters to converge outside police barriers, Malay Mail Online reported.

The rally, which started around 2 p.m. (local time) was organised to demand an end to the GST, a value-added consumption tax, which is levied on most transactions in the production process.

Protesters also called for the release of jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has come under fire over allegations of corruption linked to the debt-laden state fund 1MDB and deposits into his private accounts worth around $680 million.

Participants at Saturday’s rally waved scarves emblazoned with the slogan “#Save Malaysia”, while others wore “Cancel GST” headbands.

The rally featured speeches by prominent opposition figures such as Ibrahim’s wife, Wan Azizah, and former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who recently filed a suit against Razak, alleging corruption and “misfeasance and breach of fiduciaries” in public office.

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