Malaysia

Explain lottery ‘ban’ in Kelantan, DAP tells PAS

By Boo Su-Lyn
March 05, 2011

Loke said the move might cost PAS Chinese support at the ballot box. — file picLoke said the move might cost PAS Chinese support at the ballot box. — file picKUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — The DAP has urged PAS to clarify a reported ban on lottery tickets in Kelantan, saying the move may slash Chinese support for the Islamist party.

It was recently reported that the Kota Baru Municipal Council had raided two bookshops in Kelantan, seizing Big Sweep lottery tickets and issuing summonses to the owners.

“It will create some fear among the Chinese community and the Chinese community will be wary of PAS,” DAP Socialist Youth chief Anthony Loke told The Malaysian Insider yesterday. 

“DAP calls upon the Kelantan state government to explain whether this is a new ruling by the state government or is it an overzealous enforcement by the local councils,” he said.

The MCA has always highlighted the Islamic state bogey in its election campaigns against PAS.

MCA central committee member Datuk Ti Lian Ker reportedly said the lottery was governed by federal laws and that the right to buy and sell such lotteries should not be deemed as gambling.

DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua, however, argued that all businesses required licences from local councils. 

“Ti Lian Ker's comment that it's under federal jurisdiction is nonsense,” Pua told The Malaysian Insider yesterday.

“(The) Kelantan government should clarify . . . if the shops selling the lottery tickets had no licence,” he said.

Pua also said the DAP did not support an outright ban on gambling.

“People have freedom of choice,” said the Petaling Jaya Utara MP.

Loke said the DAP would raise the matter in Pakatan Rakyat if the lottery ban was indeed Kelantan state policy

“We the DAP are very concerned,” Loke said.