A Las Vegas In Penang Gerakan Vp S Casino Idea Quashed
Gerakan president Dominic Lau Hoe Chai has rejected the suggestion of his vice president Baljit Singh to build a world-class casino in Penang as part of Perikatan Nasional (PN)’s election manifesto.
Lau told Malaysiakini that such a proposal was not Gerakan’s official stance.
“Gerakan will not bring this for PN discussion as this is not the party’s stance,” he stressed.
Similarly, Penang PAS commissioner Muhammad Fauzi Yusoff clarified that the idea was never discussed among Penang PN.
He stated that Penang PAS has always maintained the same stance, which was against gambling.
“We always believed that gambling does not do any good. Besides, no religion would encourage gambling.
“Basically this was just a personal opinion of Baljit. We (Penang PN) never discussed this,” he said when contacted by Malaysiakini today.
Fauzi pointed out that although there are non-Muslims living in Kelantan, the PAS-run state government does not permit lottery shops to open there.
On Monday, Baljit (above) proposed in a Facebook statement that a world-class casino like the ones in Las Vegas be built in Pulau Jerejak to boost Penang’s economy and tourism industry.
He also suggested putting this proposal into PN’s manifesto and letting the Penang voters decide.
Gerakan president Dominic Lau Hoe ChaiHe opined that the proposed construction of a casino was not only a leap in economic development but also a leap in thought.
“Yes, we should break away from the long-standing ‘ethnic and religious’ shackles and look at it from a rational perspective.
“I have suggested since last year that we build a casino in Pulau Jerejak, a world-class casino like in Las Vegas. Certainly, this will drive Penang’s tourism, hotel industry, employment opportunities, construction industry, roads, facilities, airports, hawkers selling drinks on the street, and businesses will be prosperous.
“Can this be the game changer for Penang? Let Penangites decide (in the 15th general election),” said Baljit, who contested the Jelutong parliamentary seat in 2018.
Baljit’s proposal was also not welcomed by politicians from across the divide.
Penang PKR deputy youth chief Md Roshidi Roslan blasted the idea as irrational.
“This is a proposal that is insensitive to the composition and lifestyle of the plural society in Penang.
“A world-class Las Vegas-style casino built with the reason to boost the economy and tourism industry will only bring more bad than good for the people of Penang.
“This state is already known and has become the main destination of tourists for family vacations,” he said in a statement today.
Roshidi argued that social problems will increase if a large casino is built in Penang.
“PAS and Bersatu should protest and advise their coalition partner not to touch the sensitivity of Muslims in Penang,” he added.
Penang Amanah youth vice chief Muhammad Fitri Termizi also said such a proposal will taint the good name of Penang as a family-friendly tourism state.
“PN should not be reckless in chasing money by rejecting and neglecting the development of the people’s wellbeing.
“In fact, PN component parties including Bersatu and PAS should advise their friends to be more wise and careful in issuing statements, especially on issues that touch the sensitivity of Muslims in this country,” he said in a statement yesterday. - Mkini
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