The Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 will be amended to combat online gambling, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said a draft of the amendment had been submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers and would be tabled at the Parliament sitting in March.
“Online gambling is a problem which is serious and efforts to combat this activity which involved the use of online equipment is making it difficult for the authorities to take action,” he told reporters at the Utusan Melayu Veterans Club (KVUM) Charity Tea and tribute to the late Ahmad Idris at Dewan Utusan Melayu here today.
Also present were Utusan group managing director Datuk Mohd Noordin Abbas and KVUM president Datuk Raja Ahmad Niza Raja Ismail.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said online gambling operators are cunning that they use various tactics to avoid action by the authorities.
He said there were several constraints facing the authorities to combat online gambling, despite the close cooperation among the agencies involved, like the local authorities and the Royal Malaysia Police.
“TNB, which supplies electricity, also extend its cooperation, but Telekom Malaysia, which supplies fixed line is facing problem because fixed line is no longer use, instead they (operators) use smartphones to carry out their gambling activities.
“If the authorities are to conduct raids, they will use other tactics, including changing the numbers,” he added.
As such, the deputy prime minister reminded the public to not easily accused officers or the authorities of “closing their eyes” to illegal gambling activities.
“We do not deny that some enforcement officers might have been bought by the syndicate concerned, that we will not compromise, if there is strong evidence, give it to me,” he added.
The authorities, he said, were committed to tackle gambling and those involved in the activities would face legal and disciplinary action.
In another development, Ahmad Zahid said it was not easy to down-size the country’s public service.
“It is not easy to ask the civil servants to retire or to get them to retire early. Perhaps, there are certain methods than can be done to down-size our civil service,” he added.
Yesterday, former Finance Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim suggested the government to consider downsizing the country’s bloated civil service to achieve the deficit rate of three per cent.
At the event, Ahmad Zahid also launched a book Memoir Wartawan Ahmad Idris: Dari Geylang Serai ke Utusan Melayu.
Ahmad was an editor for the Mingguan Malaysia newspaper.
Source : @ Bernama