Awang Adek passes the buck to new deputy on Ascot fiasco
SUMBER - WED, 09 JUN 2010 14:26 By Syed Jaymal Zahiid
KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Finance Minister Dr Awang Adek Hussein remain muted over the sports betting licence fiasco, passing the buck instead to newly minted Second Deputy Finance Minister Donald Lim.
"No, no comment. You can ask Donald Lim... he knows," said Awang Adek before abruptly escaping from a group of reporters in Parliament here.
(Terjemahannya : "Dok, dok sey komen. Mu gi tanyo Donald Lim... dia gheti" kata Awang Adek sebelum menyelamatkan diri dari kepungan media di Parlimen.) AHAK AHAK AHAK
The government in a confusing statement said two days ago that it has not given the sports betting licence to Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd, a company belonging to influential tycoon Vincent Tan.
The revelation was made through a written reply by the ministry of finance, which stated that the government has yet to issue the licence.
"The government has not issued or given the [sports betting] licence to Ascot to operate betting bookies in Malaysia.
"The government has also yet to finalise any discussions on the licensing terms and conditions with Ascot Sports," read the statement
It was Awang Adek who recently revealed the government plans to legalise sports betting, allegedly to curb illegal bookies in light of the coming World Cup tournament.
But yesterday DAP leader Tony Pua distributed copies of the proposal made by Berjaya Corporation Bhd, Tan's flagship company, in Parliament as proof that Ascot Sports was given the licence.
Pua, the Petaling Jaya Utara MP, said this was a blatant contradiction to the statement issued by the finance ministry.
DAP wants Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to be referred to the Rights and Privileges Committee for allegedly misleading Parliament following the fiasco.
The party's Youth chief Anthony Loke is leading Pakatan Rakyat's anti-gambling task force.
The opposition coalition claims that legalising sports betting would encourage gambling to the detriment of society.
The government is reported to have incurred losses of hundreds of millions in revenues over illegal bookies.
Legalising sports betting would help tap into the lucrative industry, but the opposition says the move only shows that the government is willing to sacrifice morality to replenish drying state coffers.
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