GEORGE TOWN – The DAP-led Penang state government is not connected at all to unlicensed gambling in the state and is prepared to cooperate with the police in combating the illegal activity, says Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
He said the state government’s stand was clear, that Penang rejected illegal gambling or any plan to build a casino in the state.
“We are not at all involved in illegal gambling or licensing it and we are prepared to cooperate with the police in combating the menace,” he told reporters, here, today.
He was asked to comment on Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s statement yesterday in which he also ordered Penang police to go on an all-out fight against illegal gambling in the state, including arresting and taking the kingpins to court.
Ahmad Zahid also described the illegal gambling problem in Penang as getting more serious and voiced fear that proceeds from this activity could be used by the gambling syndicates to finance political parties contesting in the general election.
Lim said the state government had no power to carry out enforcement against illegal gambling activities and that only the police could take action.
“Gambling licences are not issued by the state government and if the illegal gambling syndicates have links with political parties, it definitely has nothing to do with the state government,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lim urged police to conduct a thorough investigation into a bullying case in which the 18-year-old male victim is now in coma and being treated at the intensive-care unit of Penang Hospital.
He said Seri Delima assemblyman RSN Rayer and Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh had been asked to provide assistance to the victim’s family.
“I hope the police investigate this case seriously and bring the culprits to justice,” he said.
In the incident about 2pm in Gelugor, here, the victim, T. Nhaveen, sustained serious injuries after he was brutally assaulted by a group of teenagers at a field.