KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said that the police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) are jointly investigating the claims of political patronage in online gambling activities.
Acryl Sani said that the police had received information about the involvement of politicians in online gambling, Free Malaysia Today reported.
“Police and MACC are sharing investigative information to verify and conduct further investigations into the matter.
“We will not allow activities that are detrimental to society and the nation and every action taken is based on the law,” he was quoted as saying.
However, he did not elaborate further on the matter as he said it would affect the investigations.
The statement came hours after Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution had affirmed the existence of political patronage protecting illegal gambling operators when asked by backbencher Sungai Buloh MP Datuk R. Ramanan in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
The minister described political patronage as the biggest obstacle to his ministry and enforcement agencies in their attempt to curb said illicit activities.
Such protections towards syndicates, Saifuddin Nasution said, would entail information leaks to avoid capture.
“For me to stand here and state that illegal gambling in Malaysia is free from political patronage would incite laughter from others.
“Yes, political patronage exists, I am saying affirmatively. From there comes influence and protection; from there comes corruption and bribery; and from there comes the lacklustre political will to curb this issue,” he said.
Meanwhile, Saifuddin was also reported saying that the matter of political patronage in online gambling was briefed to him by the police.
“I would not have responded affirmatively if I had not been given convincing and clear information on the matter.
“That was why when I was asked if there is (political patronage), I said yes, there is,” he was quoted as saying in a report by The Star.
Saifuddin said he had talked to the police before he was questioned in Parliament but declined to reveal more on the issue.
“Let us give space to the police to organise their strategy,” he was quoted as saying.