Most do not know what GST is

KUALA LUMPUR - Most of the people attending the rally to protest against the Goods and Services Tax (GST) here yesterday did not understand how it works.

Those interviewed were of the opinion that the GST will lead to a hike in the prices of goods and that its implementation will burden the people, particularly those from the low-income group.

Private sector worker Siti Hanum Samsudin, 25, said she took part in the rally because she feared the GST would lead to an increase in prices of goods.

"The prices of goods are increasing and I'm afraid they will increase even more once the GST is implemented," she said, adding that she arrived with her family at 8am from Jempol, Negri Sembilan, to take part in the rally at Dataran Merdeka.

Her younger sister, Siti Suhaila, 22, said the introduction of GST would further burden the people.

However, both sisters could not explain the meaning of GST, or the taxation it entailed.

The GST, which will take affect on April 5 next year, will replace the present Sales and Services Tax (SST). The GST imposes a flat rate of six per cent as opposed to the varying sales and service tax, which ranges from five to 10 per cent.

More than 160 countries worldwide employ the GST, as it is an efficient system to remain competitive.

Lorry driver Harikrishnan Toreas, 32, said he understood the GST as a tax that would affect suppliers when they sold their goods to traders, and this could cause a hike in prices of goods.

Meanwhile, business owners and traders in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and other areas affected by the rally said they incurred huge losses.