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Monday, May 10, 2010

Husam to muftis: Speak up on decision to legalise gambling


KOTA BHARU, May 9: The muftis in the country have been urged to state their stance over the government's decision to legalise gambling during the upcoming World Cup season.
PAS central committee member Husam Musa (pic) said the people await an Islamic response from the muftis on the issue, just like a certain mufti had recently commented on PKR's Hulu Selangor candidate Zaid Ibrahim's past drinking habit.
Deputy Finance Minister Dr Awang Adek Hussein had recently stated the government's intention to legalise gambling before the start of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa next month, arguing that the move was made to curb illegal gambling and to find revenue for the government.
“There will be many bookies placing bets on the matches anyway. Those who want to do it (gamble) will do it, whether it is legal or not,” he was reported as saying by the local media.
“The Government can benefit from it and use the revenue to develop sports.”
Husam reminded the muftis not to stay silent over the move as Islam has been explicit on the prohibition of gambling and liquor, categorising them under major sins.
He added that a response from muftis was all the more critical as the announcement to legalise gambling had already been made by Awang Adek over the media.
Husam, who is also Kelantan PAS deputy commissioner, said it would be unfortunate if Awang Adek (left), who advocated legalising gambling, could still get votes from Kelantanese electorate, adding that such decision to allow something which had been clearly prohibited was a result of UMNO's separation of Islam from politics.
“It is very unfortunate if we allow this to happen,” he said.
Relating a conversation with a Chinese lady, who had urged him to act against the government's decision, Husam said she had expressed fear that her community's problems arising from the gambling habit could exacerbate.
“If the Chinese (non-Muslims) can think that way, why do we Muslims take the issue lightly and continue supporting the BN government?" he asked.


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