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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Pahang PAS urges PN to phase out gambling


Pahang PAS has urged Putrajaya to phase out the gambling industry because it violated Islamic tenets and to "rescue" the public.

Its information chief Mohd Tarmizi Yahaya said the federal government should not be supportive of gambling "tauke" or companies, regardless of the tax contributions from the industry.

"The government should protect and save the rakyat, not build the wealth of 'tauke' or gambling companies," he said.

Tarmizi said tax collections from the gambling industry have been rising in recent years, which meant that there are more punters.

This was a worrying sign, said Tarmizi, adding that there was likely an increase in illegal gambling in tandem.

"It is a sign that there are more gambling addicts and more money is being wasted. That figure also represented (an increasing number of) sinners and criminals," he said.

Pahang PAS information chief Mohd Tarmizi Yahaya

PAS, which has been a staunch opponent of the gambling industry, had banned gambling in Kelantan and Terengganu when it ruled those states in the 1990s.

However, the party is caught in a bind now that it is part of the Perikatan Nasional coalition government in Putrajaya.

Putrajaya has quietly increased the number of "special draws days" for the number betting industry to 22, up from eight during the Pakatan Harapan administration.

Despite several statements made by the lower-tiered PAS leaders, Putrajaya does not appear to have budged.

Gambling has proved to be a lucrative source of income for the country, with RM2.72 billion collected as of September 2019, up from RM2.018 billion in 2018.

Apart from number betting, other forms of licensed gambling in the country include slot machines, horse racing, casinos and lotteries. - Mkini

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