By EDWARD R. HENRY
PORT KLANG: A boy who went into high-stakes gambling at the age of 16 accumulated losses amounting to about RM8mil by the time he was 19.
The boy, a millionaire’s son, had allegedly followed in his father’s footsteps by gambling and ended up losing millions in foreign football bets over the Internet.
His compulsion for betting was so great that he came to be known as the Little Dragon.
Yesterday, Klang Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Teh Kim Poo (pic) who was unable to coax the teenager to come forward to relate his gambling spree, said the youth’s gambling habit stemmed from his father, a compulsive gambler.
“This teenager grew up watching his father gamble and at the age of 16, he began to gamble after gambling agents gave him a credit line of RM100,000. Each time he was buried in debt, his father would bail him out. Over these three years, there have been several bail-outs,” he said.
Teh added when the accumulated losses came to RM8mil, it was the last straw for the father. The man, in his 50s, barred him from gambling and stopped his son from attending college. He now works with his father.
According to Teh, the teenager who was pursuing an Australian degree programme at a college in Petaling Jaya had on several occasions used college fees to settle his debts and extend his credit line.
He would lie to his father that college fees needed to be paid and use the money to pay the gambling agents.
On occasions when he could not settle the debt, the agents would send Ah Long to collect from the father.
Teh said gambling agents were the culprits who went after teenagers from rich families.
“Most times, these agents would go to ‘high-end colleges’ and look for these rich kids. ”
Teh added that Pandamaran New Village had become a hot place for such gambling and simple wooden houses were equipped with Internet facilities for the activity.
On Sunday, Klang and Kapar MCA held an “Anti-Gambling at Internet Cafes” signature campaign at the Taman Eng Ann morning market.
It got more than 2,000 signatures from parents in two hours.
Klang OCPD Asst Comm Moha-mad Mat Yusop urged the public to provide information on gambling dens that existed in Internet cafes so swift action can be taken.