‘Time will come’, says CM on the  slot machines
Published on: Wednesday, May 22, 2019
By: Sherell Jeffrey
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CM Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie only said the “time will come” when asked if existing licences for slot machines in recreation clubs in Sabah will be revoked. 

He was asked about his earlier statement that there will be no more mini casinos and slot machines in Sabah and would talk to federal Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng about it, following a call by an Inter-faith Group.

The licences were issued during the PBS era by the Feceral Government and it is understood that no new ones were issued since, the last believed in 1992. While the licences were issued to three main players, who also have operations outside the State, a few licences are also held by individuals. It is understood that some 6,000 people are employed in these clubs in Sabah.

Despite the call by the Inter-faith Group, netizens have also spoken in defence of the operators, saying that any action against the licensed operators would lead to the operations going underground, which would make it harder to control.

They said that taking away the licences would also prove futile given today’s technology, pointing out the reason there are hardly any illegal operators anymore unlike in the past is because anyone can now gamble without leaving the house by using their smartphone.

Meanwhile, Shafie said enforcement should be stepped up at exit and entry points to the State such as airports and sea ports to address smuggling of wildlife.

“We must make sure that we can contain from that point of area to ensure it doesn’t happen,” he said, when asked whether an independent audit should be done in the wake of the recent smuggling of 220 crocodiles into Sabah from Indonesia. 

He said this was one of the areas one can never effectively control because such activity can only go abroad by sea or air. 

“We have to stop at that point and the best way to stop is from the airport and sea port itself,” he said. 

The crocodiles were seized during a joint operation conducted by the Tawau Wildlife Department and the Eastern Sabah Security Command in the mangrove forest in Kg Pasir Putih, in Tawau. 

Two locals and two Indonesians aged between 55 and 61, have since been detained in suspicion of being involved in smuggling in the reptiles. 

It is also believed to be the first time Sabah Wildlife Department came across people smuggling crocodiles from outside the State. 



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