Thursday, December 12, 2013

Democracy in Action - Students protest rising cost of living

Democracy in action as students come out and protest against rising cost of living but politicians stole the limelight in the media. It would have been good if media would have given more space to student voices and opinions.

Who should be the target? MPs or the ordinary people of Malaysia. I believe it must be the ordinary people of Malaysia - and not just their elected reps, the MPs and the ADUNs.

Did any MP/ADUN have a public consultation (not a "I talk you listen" session) with the people about the rising cost of living?

How many MPs/ADUNs organised public forums to keep their constituents informed? It really is no longer an excuse for MPs/ADUNs in Pakatan Rakyat states - there are so many halls under the power of the State and local council that they can use - but sadly it is not happening as much as we like it.

Student activists and youths protest rising cost of living

VIDEO | 1:50 min
The government's moves to pull back subsidies and raise taxes have drawn fire from student activists and youths from the opposition parties.

Grouping together in a movement dubbed ‘Gerakan Turun Kos Sara Hidup' (Turun, or Movement to Reduce the Cost of Living), the activists today protested against the rising cost of living in the country.

NONEThey urged the nation's youth to come forward and pressure the government to reverse a recent slate of policies that included increases in the prices of petrol, electricity and sugar.

They also raised their opposition to the goods and services tax (GST), which is due to be implemented in April 2015, during the protest outside the Sogo shopping complex in the heart of Kuala Lumpur this afternoon.

"Do our young people want to continue to be silent? Fight or keep quiet?" Ahmad Afif Zulkifli of Gabungan Mahasiswa Islam Malaysia (Gamis) asked a crowd of some 50 protesters. They shouted back, "Fight".

Also spotted backing the students were PAS Youth chief Suhaizan Kaiat, DAP Socialist Youth (Dapsy) chairperson Teo Kok Seong and several leaders of student activist groups.

Social problems and crime rate to go up too
Suhaizan and Teo both claimed that the BN government has gone back on its election manifesto, which promised to help to lessen the young people's burden.

“BN made all kinds of promises during GE13 but when they are in power, prices of all things are going up.

“Where (BN government rules), there you will find misappropriation and bribery," Suhaizan alleged.

Suhaizan said that university graduates in both private and public sectors were underpaid, pressured and overworked as they struggled to make a living.

If the BN government does not pay attention to these facts, she said they can expect social problems and crime rate to rise as well.

Besides making speeches, the demonstration outside the shopping mall was also coloured by performance, with protestors watching as three participants holding symbols of toll, petrol and the Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) logo had their hands tied together.
NONEThen, the movement's chairperson Azan Safar came forth and cut the cords, freeing the participants, while dozens of yellow balloons with the words "turun" (come down) written on them were released into the air.

This stunt earned some attention from the passersby, who were mostly out for their year-end shopping.

The Turun group said they would follow up the protest with forums to discuss the problems of rising costs and the results would be submitted to MPs for Parliamentary debate - Malaysiakini, 11/12/2013,
Student activists and youths protest rising cost of living

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