BALIK PULAU – Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has ordered Penang police to go all out in combating gambling which is described as becoming more serious in the state.
He said the police, as a security force which had full authority to take action against gambling, must fully eradicate the immoral activity.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, wants those involved in gambling activities, especially the kingpins to be arrested and charged in court.
“I order the state police chief from today (to eradicate gambling). I do not want any more reports of kingpins comprising the big towkays in Penang.
“Don’t worry, don’t be afraid. We at Bukit Aman, Home Ministry will be behind the police to give strong support (to eradicate gambling),” he said in his speech at the Home Ministry’s ‘Instilling Ramadan’s Noble Values’ programme at the Southwest District Mosque, here, today.
Also present were Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, state police chief Datuk Chuah Ghee Lye and senior officers from Bukit Aman and the state contingent.
Ahmad Zahid said if the gambling activities were not fully eradicated, it was feared that there would be masterminds financing political parties, especially in the general election.
“This is not an accusation, but a fear over financing of political parties (through proceeds from gambling activities.”
He said he also did not want criminal activities to be associated with race, such as Malays often being associated with drug abuse, Indians with gangsterism and the Chinese, with gambling.
“Gambling is the biggest problem in Penang and I fear the Chinese community may become victims of the gambling syndicates.
“This issue is regardless of race; I sympathise with those who become victims of gambling,” he said.
In this regard, Ahmad Zahid wants efforts to eradicate crime especially gambling to be used as a key performance index (KPI) of the Penang police.
“So far, I am happy with Datuk Chuah’s work as the crime index has dropped,” he said.
Touching on politics in the state, the UMNO vice-president said he foresaw that a big change might take place in the future.
“Hopefully, change can occur…something drastic can take place if we work harder,” he said. – BERNAMA