In a firm stand against the gaming and lottery industry, the government of Perlis, a state in Malaysia, has declared its intention not to issue new operating licenses to these entities. This crucial decision puts the future of existing gaming outlets in the balance, as the state administration is set to deliberate on their continued operations next week.
The Menteri Besar of Perlis, Mohd Shukri Ramli, voiced this notable decision, asserting that the future of the current gaming outlets in the state would be a critical point of discussion at the impending Perlis state executive council (exco) meeting. Shukri’s personal preference leans towards the closure of these gaming outlets, but he stressed that the final decision hinges on further deliberations by the state exco.
Before any conclusive decision is made, the Perlis state government intends to thoroughly review the existing laws governing this domain. Additionally, Shukri expressed his plan to consult with the Perlis mufti, a Muslim legal expert who is empowered to give rulings on religious matters. The feedback from this consultation will inform the eventual decision on the issue.
Shukri mentioned that the state government is considering separating the revenues accrued from gaming, in line with Islamic teachings. These teachings permit the collection of tax from non-Islamic sources like gambling for public infrastructure development. If the existing outlets are allowed to continue, this revenue source will be distanced from gaming.
As it stands, there are six lottery outlets spread across the state, with three in Kangar, two in Padang Besar, and one in Kuala Perlis. The future of these outlets hangs in the balance as two of them have had their operating licenses renewed until the following year, while the other four have varying expiration dates within the current year.
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Several gaming companies have already been served official letters from the Kangar municipal council, stating that their licenses will not be renewed upon expiration. Fakhrul Anwar Ismail, the Perlis exco member in charge of housing and local government, confirmed these notifications.
The council president, Norazlan Yahaya, echoed these sentiments, stating firmly that no new operating licenses will be issued to the gaming industry and existing licenses will expire without renewal.
The move by the Perlis state government aligns with a similar decision by the Kedah state government, which ceased operations of all lottery outlets and stated that no licenses would be renewed, keeping the state free from such activities.
As the Perlis state government’s resolve against the gaming and lottery industry strengthens, its stance sends ripples across Malaysia’s socio-economic landscape. Only time will tell how this decision will shape the industry’s future in the region.
This article is based on information obtained from the MalayMail website.