penang says no to sports gambling

so finally the penang govt. has decided to ban sports betting.

when our dear PM decided to legalise sports betting and gave the license to his crony, vincent tan, everybody jumped up and made lots of noises. there were protests here and there.  in the penang CM’s wesak day message yesterday, he announced that ascot sports (vincent tan’s gaming company) is not welcome in penang.

no doubt, many people welcome this move, including me. well i never ever get involved in any sports betting.  well, at first glance, it looks like a good move on the part of the penang govt. but if we were to look back, we’ll see that there are pros and cons involved.

of course it’s good to discourage any form of gambling. further sports gambling usually involved the youth. gambling is wrong in the eyes of all religion of course but to me gambling in moderation is okay.   problem is when people get obssessed with gambling and as a result wreck their lives, their homes, their families. well, since sports gambling has not been started in penang (not counting the illegal ones!), it’s better not to start it -so it was a good move of the penang CM to not allowed legalised sports gambling. however, people will say, that is even worst… if sports gambling can’t be done openly (legalised), then it encourage many  ‘underground’ sports gambling.

another thing is when LGE banned sports gambling, the fear is that some umno (or BN) people might come out to say why not also ban other form of gambling e.g. the 4-digits numbers betting from magnum, magnum, toto.   well, already someone did! 3 persons from the penang municipal council.

from malaysiakini:

Meanwhile, three Penang municipal councilors, who claim they represent all Muslims in the council, want the state to go a step further to stop the issuance of permits to all gambling and alcohol premises.

gee, they claim the represent ALL muslims in the council? sure or not? oh no, they also mentioned alcohol!

The trio who held a press conference at the PAS operation centre in Jelutong today, said the state must consider the ‘sensitivities’ of Muslims and take immediate action on these vices as they were considered haram.


“Also these vices hurt the sensitivity of the Muslims and as part of the government, we cannot be a patron to these vices,” added Mohammad Yusof, who is also PAS Jelutong chairperson.

*sigh* there the go again – their sensitivities’. why is it always their sensitivities that should be consider (perkasa’s ikerismhim ali will say because they are the majority). how many times must i repeat myself that sensitivities work both ways.

and when another councilor said this:

“Coffee shops and food courts are actually not allowed to sell alcohol because this is too public and are patronised by Muslims and non-Muslims alike, including children,” said Zikri.

a commenter in malaysiakini rightly then asked, will the muslim consider the sensitivites of the hindus and not allowed coffee shops or food stalls to sell beef?

this is really silly!!

coming back to the issue of gambling, then this silly illogical man zikri said  pointed out that four-digit outlets caused traffic jams during peak hours.

“In Jelutong, it is noticeable that when it is ‘numbers day’, there are massive traffic jams outside the outlets and this has brought many complaints, including those from non-Muslims,” he added.

so what? using that as a reason to ban gambling? hey when you people have your ‘after friday prayers protest’, it also cause traffic jam with curious on-lookers stopping by, but it was not stop by police, no announcement to ban ‘after friday prayer protest’.

to me, these existing  ‘4 ekor’ numbers gambling that is going on, should remain and not be banned… but since sports gambling hasn’t been started yet, so let it not start – so LGE was right to not allowed it.  hey i don’t gamble… serious. i don’t buy numbers at all… oh but i do buy the bi-monthly lottery tickets.  yes although i don’t gamble (except the lottery), i respect those who want to gamble. it’s their rights.

i do not agree on a ban on these gambling outlets but i do agree that new permits for gambling should not be issued.

(please click on ‘read more’ to read the press statement from the penang CM)

Penang Wesak Day Message By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 28.5.2010.

Penang State Government Directs The Two Local Councils MPPP & MPSP To Exercise Section 101(v) Of The Local Government Act To Bar Sports Betting In Penang Given By BN To Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd.

In the spirit of peace and tranquility, I wish a very happy Wesak day to all Buddhists in Penang and Malaysia. On this auspices day, we are reminded of the teachings of Lord Buddha who among other things has preached enlightenment and tolerance.

The Penang Government in conjunction with Wesak Day celebrations would like to express our intent to promote a healthier and more responsible lifestyle for Penang families. We are concerned at the excessively high number of draws -12 draws or special draws conducted weekly by the three gaming companies licensed by the BN government, which should be reduced.

The Penang state government is not opposed to betting or gaming outlets in Penang. However we are concerned at the excessive number of draws and special draws being conducted by these licensed operators have placed a very heavy burden on many families. Many of the breadwinners feel obliged to ‘chase’ after each draw with all three operators resulting in substantial loss of income to the family and their children.

Therefore, in order to discourage the excessive number of draws and special draws as well as to promote a healthier social fabric, the Penang state government has decided to reject the application of the new sports betting licensee, Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd or other related parties to conduct the sports betting business in Penang.

Under the Local Government Act Section 101(v), the local council is empowered to deal with issues concerning the municipality’s safety, health and convenience.

The Penang government believes in the right of the people to partake in gaming activities and hence will not ban the number of gaming shop of activities.  However, the Penang state government feels that the number of draws and special draws should not be too excessive and  be reduced  so that they do not become addictive and destructive to our healthy lifestyles.

Penang state government is not in favour of the BN Federal Government decision  early this month to award the sports betting license now in the interest of protecting the Malaysian social fabric and reducing the negative economic impact on them. We will be writing to the sport betting concessionaire to inform them of the Penang government’s decision.

Penang State Government shall direct The Two Local Councils MPPP & MPSP To Exercise Section 101(v) Of The Local Government Act To Bar Sports Betting In Penang Given By BN To Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd.

Once again a very Happy Wesak Day to all Penangites and Malaysians.

Lim Guan Eng

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