Political patronage exists in online gambling – Saifuddin Nasution

Political patronage exists in online gambling – Saifuddin Nasution

KUALA LUMPUR: Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail revealed today that there is an element of political patronage in online gambling activities in this country. He said it was the biggest obstacle for the ministry, the Royal Malaysia Police (PRDM) as well as the government as a whole in their efforts to address the issue.

“To say that online gambling in Malaysia is free from political patronage, people will laugh at it… so yes, there is indeed an element of political patronage.

“From there comes influence and protection, from there comes corruption and bribery…the lack of political will to fight this matter all the way. The players are protected and (will) return the favour to the political masters who protect them so that no action will be taken.

“… the police really understand this pattern,” he said when replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Ramanan Ramakrishnan (PH-Sungai Buloh) in the Dewan Rakyat. Saifuddin Nasution said the ministry would expedite the proposed amendments to the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 and the Betting Act 1953.

He said there was an effort to amend the Acts in 2019 but the process was quite slow, therefore he would discuss with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on the matter. “In 1953, gambling was just cockfights, now it’s online gambling. We are still using the same Acts…if the police take action and they (gamblers) challenge it in court, they will win (because) online gambling is not included in these two Acts,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said a total of 2,119 gambling websites were blocked from 2021 until last month.

— BERNAMA

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