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.