Generally, one would have thought that the strongest opposition to a casino anywhere in Malaysia would be from the Muslim-based political parties such as Umno, PAS and Amanah, but it seems DAP and MCA leaders are the ones dead set against it.
The state government has outrightly condemned the casino plan, suggested by the new Chinese-based, Malay-advised, BN-friendly new political party by a newly set-up BN-friendly party Penang Front Party’s (PFP).
DAP calls the casino a sinister plan to topple the Penang government.
MCA, despite being also a BN Chinese-based party, has also said that should a casino be built, Penangites can expect more vice.
“With gambling, comes prostitution, loan sharking, debts and other vice activities that will destroy the institution of family and society.
“The idea mooted by the Penang Front Party of having a casino on the island is not only uncalled for but is immoral.
“Malaysia is not a gambling den and neither does our culture promote such activities.
“Therefore such a proposal has no place in the heart of Malaysia. Malaysia does not need such an unwanted tourism attraction that has no benefit in the long term.
“I believe other agencies such as the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development will also join in to condemn such a proposal,” says Chris Daniel Wong, Secretary of MCA Religious Harmony.
However, we have yet to hear any outright opposition from the other BN parties to this proposal by PFP.
Strangely is that the adviser of the party Padang Besar MP Zahidi Zainul Abidin has “allowed” PFP to suggest turning Penang into a Macau with a casino.
PFP’s pro tem chairman, Lim Poh Kong, said it is working on obtaining a casino licence from the Federal Government and that this will encourage tourists to visit Penang.
He also said that the casino can contribute RM3 billion in income annually, spurring the economy.
Is this a plan devised by BN to get someone to suggest a casino now, and the BN Umno leaders would only condemn it outright and pretend to scrap it come election time, as if it was against it all along?
One can only wonder at the elegant silence against the casino plan from the top leaders of the country.