23 March 2015

80 aktivis anti-GST ditangkap di kompleks kastam...


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Puluhan aktivis yang membantah cukai barangan dan perkhidmatan (GST) di kompleks Jabatan Kastam Diraja Malaysia di Kelana Jaya ditangkap polis selepas enam jam berada di situ.

Kira-kira 80 orang dimasukkan ke dalam trak polis sebelum dibawa ke sebuah dewan, tidak jauh dari koridor pusat maklumat jabatan itu, tempat asal mereka berkumpul.

Turut ditahan setiausaha agung Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) S Arutchelvan.

Sebelumnya, lebih 100 aktivis merancang bermalam di kompleks itu sebagai membantah GST yang bakal dilaksanakan minggu depan.

Mereka merancang begitu, jika perlu, dalam usaha mendapatkan jawapan daripada Jabatan Kastam berhubung lebih 100 soalan mereka tentang pelaksanaan GST.

Arutchelvan dan ketua Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) Badrul Hisham Shahrin, yang memimpin bantahan ini, mengesahkan perkara tersebut kepada Malaysiakini tetapi enggan memberikan butiran lanjut.

"Kami bersedia untuk bermalam di sini sehingga kami mendapat jawapan-jawapannya. Kami ada rancangannya, anda perlu tunggu," kata Arutchelvan.

Kumpulan itu duduk di kaki lima berdekatan pusat maklumat GST dengan diawasi sekumpulan anggota polis pencegah rusuhan. Mereka berbual di situ, selain menyanyi dan mendengar ucapan-ucapan.

Antara yang hadir termasuk Pengarah Pusat Penyelidikan PAS Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Pengerusi PSM Mohd Nasir Hashim, Sasterawan Negara Datuk A Samad Said, MP Kuala Krai Mohd Hatta Ramli dan MP Sungai Siput Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj.

Pagi tadi, kumpulan itu menyerbu masuk ke dalam kompleks tersebut dengan 106 soalan berhubung polisi cukai baru itu, dan menuntut ia dimansuhkan atau ditangguh jika pihak berkuasa itu gagal menjawabnya.

Mereka dihalang di kaunter informasi luar kompleks itu oleh anggota polis yang kemudiannya bersama pasukan polis antirusuhan.

Dalam perbincangan polis dan Arutchelvan, polis berjanji untuk membawa Ketua Pengarah Kastam, Datuk Abdul Gani Othman untuk berbincang dengan mereka, tetapi dengan syarat peserta harus menunggu di luar pintu pagar kompleks itu.

Ketua pengarah kena 'boo'

Setibanya Abdul Gani dan rombongan pada jam 1.30 petang, beliau hanya menjawab dua soalan. Aktivis yang berada di situ kesal dengan tindakannya.

"Saya minta maaf tapi saya tidak dapat menjawab di sini," katanya yang berjanji akan memberikan jawapan bertulis kepada orang ramai yang kemudian mengejeknya dengan “boo”.

Menjawab soalan pertama diajukan sama ada kastam bersedia melaksanakan GST minggu depan, Gani menunjukkan tanda ibu jari sebagai sokongan.

Soalan kedua dibangkitkan kenapa sardin dalam tin dikenakan GST tetapi makanan mewah seperti udang kara dikecualikannya.

Gani kemudian menjawab: "Perintah dari Parlimen. Saya hanya melaksanakan.” - mk


Cops detain 80 anti-GST activists...

A total of 80 activists were arrested during a sit-in protest at the Federal Territories Customs Complex in Petaling Jaya to demand answers to 106 questions regarding the goods and services tax (GST).


Protest leader S Arutchelvan (left in photo), Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) Badrul Hisham Sharin, DAP activist Young Syefura Othman, and Kuala Krai MP Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli were among those detained.


"We were prepared to compromise. We promised to leave even if they gave us half-baked answers.

"But they chose to arrest us," Arutchelvan, who is also PSM secretary-general, told Malaysiakini.

The protesters were chanting anti-GST slogans as they were taken away in Black Marias.

Those detained were first taken to a nearby hall and are now at the Kelana Jaya police station.

The arrests came after the police gave three warnings since 5pm ordering the activists to leave, and then began to move against the protestors five minutes later when they refused to budge.

The first of these warnings came from Petaling Jaya OCPD Azmi Abu Kassim, and the other two from a subordinate.

“It is past 5pm and the customs office is closed. So I am giving you five minutes to leave this area. If not, I will remove you,” Azmi said.

Arutchelvan had led some 100 activists to storm the complex at 11am and later mulled spending the night there.

The plan was to have each activist post a question to the GST information centre located in the complex.

A brief scuffle broke out when the group was stopped from entering the complex’s GST information centre by the police, who were soon joined by riot police from the Light Strike Force (LSF) from at least six police districts. They numbered about 60 personnel.

Following this, the group vowed to stay overnight until they got answers and sat a corridor, chatting and listening to speeches while they waited for a response from the customs department.

The police then promised to bring the Kuala Lumpur Customs director Abdul Gani Othman to negotiate with the group.

When Abdul Gani and his entourage arrived at about 1.30pm, he only answered two questions.

After which, he was handed a written list of the questions and quickly left, much to the chagrin of the activists.

"I'm sorry but I cannot answer here," he said, promising a written reply to the booing crowd.

The first question he answered is whether the Customs Department is prepared for GST's implementation next week, to which Abdul Gani (right in photo) gave the thumbs-up and responded in the affirmative.

The second question was why sardines are taxed under GST but not lobsters, the latter being a luxury food item.

"Order from the Parliament. I just execute," he replied.

The third question was regarding goods whose prices are expected to fall as the GST replaces the existing sales and services tax (SST). They asked when is the price drop expected.

Abdul Gani did not answer the last question, but instead successfully persuaded the protestor asking the question to hand him the list of questions.

Another group of about 30 SAMM members were also seen waiting outside at about 2pm along with members of the media, but both were barred from entering the complex.

According to Arutchelvan, one of the protestors Khalid Ismath was arrested when attempting to enter the complex earlier today.

Among the prominent personalities in the group were PAS research centre director Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, PSM chairperson Mohd Nasir Hashim, national laureate A Samad Said and Sungai Siput parliamentarian Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj.

However some had left before the crackdown began. - mk

  





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