Chong claims licence revocation vindicates him, wants Lo held accountable
Chong showing a Chinese news article bearing Lo’s statement on entertainment licences. At left is his special assistant Abdul Aziz Isa.
KUCHING: Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang must be held accountable as to why it took him so long to realise and admit that ‘entertainment licences’ issued by MPP were being used for gambling purposes.
State DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said for more than two years now, he had been telling Lo that the entertainment licences issued by him as chairman of MPP had been abused by the holders to operate illegal gambling centres and yet Lo did nothing.
“Lo only acted to revoke such entertainment licences after the KPD (district police chief) of the Padawan police district on May 31, 2017 openly chided the MPP for issuing entertainment licences which were used for gambling, thereby hampering the job of the police to curb gambling activities in Padawan area.
“In fact, I have, since 2015, on many occasions raised the matter about MPP’s entertainment licences being used for gambling activities, both in and outside DUN (State Legislative Assembly). Yet chairman Lo continuously denied such facts and defended those licence holders,” he told a press conference at state DAP headquarters here yesterday.
Chong, who is Bandar Kuching MP, also listed the chronology of nine events when he raised such matter and Lo’s responses between May 3, 2015 and June 1 this year.
Chong said now that he had been proven correct when he made the statements that the licences were a front for illegal gambling activities, Lo must answer the following questions: Why had he been so reluctant to act against those licence holders before the KPD stepped in, and what connection Lo had with those licence holders that he was so slow to act?
Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa assemblyman, wanted Lo to reveal the identity of the holders who have abused their licences, and what action, besides revoking the licences, was MPP going to take against them?
“Given that two months before the 2016 Sarawak State Elections, all gambling outlets were closed and thereafter such activities resumed, is the present revocation of licences and action against such illegal gambling activities also a temporary measure until the 14th general election?”
Chong claimed that due to the slowness (more than two years) on the part of Lo in acting against those entertainment licence holders, many had fallen victim to such activities.
He also said Lo’s present action in revoking these entertainment licences is a direct admission that his (Chong) previous statements were correct and a slap on Lo’s own face for defending those licence holders for the past two years.
Chong added that if Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg is serious about the integrity of the state government, he should direct an investigation on the matter and have Lo publicly answer the above questions.