KUALA LUMPUR, June 24: The government's determination to legalise sports betting has been met with growing opposition, with DAP challenging Rais Yatim to name the Chinese associations he claimed had appealed to the government to legalise sports betting.
DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng today dismissed as nonsense the claim by Rais, who is the Information, Communications and Culture minister.
“I would like to ask him, which is the Chinese association who appealed to the government to legalise sports betting?
“As far as I know, no Chinese associations requested to legalise sports betting. I just want to know,” he said at the Parliament lobby today (pic).
Lim, who is also the Penang chief minister, was also surprised by Rais’s statement that the government should legalise betting to recognise the rights of non-Muslims.
“I am surprised by Rais Yatim’s statement, who has suddenly turned into an expert in Chinese affairs,” he retorted.
'What the Chinese want'
Lim said the Chinese community had never asked for the legalisation of sports betting as part of their rights.
“I would like to state that the Chinese community did not wish for the sports betting to be legalised as recognition to their rights.
"I would also like to stress that the wish of the Chinese and Indian communities together with other non-Muslim communities such as Iban and Kadazan is the same as all other Malaysians which is (for a government) based on the principal of freedom, justice, truth, people’s welfare and belief in God.
"That’s what the Chinese is asking for."
Lim said UMNO seemed to be more interested to legalise sports betting compared to the non-Muslims.
“Please do not issue any more statement saying the Chinese wish to have sports betting legalised," he said.
He said the Penang administration would not ban gambling totally, but stressed that the activity should be controlled.
"If possible, we want it to be reduced,” he said.