|The Chinese Press headline that caught the nation's attention.|
Since the publication by China Press on 11th May 2015 with the headline of “GST Too Troublesome, Hardware Shop Owner Close Shop and Commit Suicide” which was subsequently picked up by Malaysiakini, Free Malaysia Today and gaining rounds on social media, I have been receiving plenty of enquiries with regards to this matter because it happened in my hometown – Teluk Intan.
I felt obliged to tell the truth that Teluk Intan people know with regards to this suicide because the media only reports half-truth or what it chooses to portray about the GST and its impact on the livelihood of the people. Yes, the impact of the GST to the people is worse than being told and it is indeed adding more stress to the people’s pocket as well as many other complications. It doesn’t help that we are receiving contradicting messages from politicians and we do not see prices of certain things going down as said earlier. In return, everything seems to be going up and even the mamak stalls includes GST in the bill!
GST is not the main cause of why the 65 year old Tan Huo Ming, the owner of Syarikat Mee Lee, a hardware shop in Teluk Intan committed suicide on Mother’s Day. Syarikat Mee Lee is located at the corner of Jalan Raja and Jalan Wah Keng Joo where most of the hardware shops in Teluk Intan are located.
In actual fact, Tan have been having family problems with frequent fights with his wife and some financial trouble even before the implementation of GST. After the implementation of GST, the round of arguments with his wife includes the hardship of weak sales (a problem that all retailers face in the month of April and still counting).
On Saturday, the day before he commit suicide by drinking pesticide and later cutting his wrist, Tan had had an argument with his wife on which he was told to close his shop on Monday if he is so unhappy with everything. Over here, the report that Tan had closed his shop is not true. As of writing this blog, his shop is still in operation. It was mentioned by his friends that even before the implementation of GST, he have been threatening to commit suicide each time he have argument with his wife and family members over financial difficulties and the threats have been going on for a while. Thus, GST is just another “item” that is added to his complaints but it is not the actual cause as reported otherwise by the media.
There were other talks that Tan have been disturbed by evil spirits, affected by bad feng shui and many more but I would regard those talks as inconsequential without anything to prove. Tan is still alive and receiving treatment in hospital. He is not dead as presumed by many people after reading this sensation news from the media. Some irresponsible people even mention that GST will cause more suicide as people are squeezed and I am deeply saddened by this. I know GST is the most hated thing in town now, and I admit, I am pissed off too because even GST exempted items are more expensive than before, but to point finger that GST is the main cause of a man taking his life is not an ethical thing to do.
Sigh, at this age of GST insanity, I wonder, what is still sane.