KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today questioned the silence from Perikatan Nasional (PN) components MIC and MCA, and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), after PAS’ move in Kedah to not renew the licences of numbers forecast operators in the state.
In a statement, the Bagan MP and former finance minister also questioned if the ministers from the parties would defy PAS’ action in Kedah which he labelled as “extremist”, while demanding that the ban be reversed.
“Why are MCA, GPS and MIC ministers being so quiet about PAS’ extremist policies? Will these ministers dare to draw a line and demand in this week’s Cabinet meeting that Cabinet direct that this ban be reversed to prove that MCA, GPS and MIC can stand firmly on their position of being able to stop PAS’ extremist policies?” Lim asked.
Lim said that while the DAP agrees that there should be restrictions imposed, such as prohibiting Muslims and also address the attendant social problems involved, any ban on gambling will only benefit illegal gambling operators who will be able to increase their business and worsen corruption in the police for illegal betting syndicates.
“That is the reason why gambling is legalised in many countries, to curb illegal betting operators. The high excise duties imposed on cigarettes and alcohol has not deterred but facilitated the expansion of smuggled or illegal or contraband goods in the country.
“There are some non-Muslims who are against gambling but not everyone wants to ban gambling. Gambling should not be banned merely because one is personally opposed to gambling.
“A leader should not be forcibly imposing his own personal moral values on others who should be free to choose,” Lim said.
He lablled the sudden decision by Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor as a move to drum up support for PAS candidates in the Melaka state election.
News portal Free Malaysia Today recently reported Muhammad Sanusi as saying that said the move aims “to tackle the ills resulting from gambling”.
Muhammad Sanusi, who is also the state PAS deputy commissioner, said that Kedah would be gambling-free as long as he remains mentri besar.
Sanusi was also reported saying the state government plans to restrict the sale of alcoholic beverages in rural Kedah “where the demand for such drinks are low”.
He gave an assurance that non-Muslims would not be affected by the curbs.