KUCHING: Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen has called upon the three local councils here – Padawan Municipal Council (MPP), Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) and Kuching South City Council (MBKS) – not to act like ‘little napoleons’.
Chong, who is Kota Sentosa assemblyman, alleged while Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem had pledged to eliminate all illegal gambling activities in the state, the local councils bent the law and issued entertainment licences to protect the operators.
“It is a serious problem but the reason for this is not because the police did not do their job. These (illegal gambling) centres are now protected by entertainment licences issued by the councils,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
Chong, who is state DAP chairman, also accused MPP chairman Lo Khere Chiang of trying to push away his responsibility. On Tuesday, he asked the state DAP to lodge police reports if they know the whereabouts and the operation of these illegal gambling outlets.
“With the entertainment licences issued by local councils, the police could not do anything to stop the operations.”
He also asked Lo: “What is wrong with DAP elected representatives bringing up the issue during the last State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting when it is a problem affecting the people and a real issue on the ground?
“After all, it is the policy of the councils to issue numerous entertainment licences to protect the operation of illegal gambling.”
Chong said instead of being offended with DAP elected representatives for bringing up the issue, Lo should review MPP’s policy, check all the entertainment licences issued, reduce and revoke entertainment licences to curb illegal gambling activities.
Chong said being a politician required a person to know what was happening on the ground. A politician was deemed to have failed his duty when he’s not aware of something that was happening so rampantly.
Chong said it had come to his knowledge that the original message of the press statement issued by Lo came from PKR women national vice-president Voon Shiak Ni.
“It seems like Voon Shiak Ni is helping him to draft the statement. I’m shocked when I came to know of this. Since she has the capacity to represent PKR, I would like to also know the position of PKR in the issue; whether PKR is on the side of local councils to condone all these illegal gambling under the entertainment licence or they are against illegal gambling.
“I hope PKR can make its clear stand on this. Although DAP Sarawak is no longer part of Pakatan Rakyat Sarawak, it doesn’t give any justification for PKR to help BN to attack DAP on this issue.”
While querying whether the statement was PKR’s official stand, Chong said any politician with conscience would know that illegal gambling activities were not good for society as it could contribute to the rise in social and security problems.”