KUALA LUMPUR, May 1 – Members of the public met around the Dataran Merdeka here have expressed regrets over the gathering of protesters against the Goods and Services Tax (GST). This is because public holidays such as Labour Day, which falls today are normally being spent leisurely together with their families in the national capital and for shopping. For Ahmad Sufian, 45, the gathering had forced him to return home after he saw the heavy traffic congestion in and around Dataran Merdeka. “Having not visited my family members for the past five months, today I take the opportunity to come to Kuala Lumpur. But it looks like my plan has to be postponed after I saw the protesters gathered until the roads become heavily congested.” he said. Ahmad, who worked in a private firm in Ipoh, Perak was met by Bernama while waiting for a taxi in Masjid Jamek here.
For Imran Khalid, 24, a student of a private college in Cheras, a planned shopping trip in conjunction with the public holiday with his college mates to Sogo had to be cancelled due to the gathering. “I was trapped in the traffic jam for about two hours so eventually we all decided to go back,” he said. A single mother, Rubiah Saat, 48, described the protesters as “aggressive and irresponsible” for the road users’ safety by crossing the road indiscriminately. “While I was driving, a protester suddenly crossed the road causing me to exert the brakes to a sudden halt,” said the mother-of-four. Meanwhile Nazirah Azizan, 27, said the gathering should not be held when the people wished to take advantage of the public holiday to have recreational activities and sightseeing. “The place is unsuitable…I feel suffocated with the noise created by the protesters to disturb public order. I feel pity for the children who are brought along,” she said.