Move to ban gambling during the CNY
Published on: Monday, October 15, 1962
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NORTH BORNEO NEWS & SABAH TIMES - (Monday, October 15, 1962) - JESSELTON, Sunday. - Mr Hong Teck Guan, President of the North Borneo Chinese Association, in a letter to the Chief Secretary, requested the Government to take steps to withhold the granting of gambling licences with effect from the coming Chinese New year.

This was the second letter forwarded by the Association on the subject of gambling licences during the Chinese New Year. 

The President, in his letter, said, he hoped that the points raised in his previous letter had already been given some consideration by the Government. 

“On behalf of the North Borneo Chinese Association throughout the country, I wish to emphasise, with leave, that the total prohibition of gambling is burning question, deserving immediate attention of the Government. 

“The evils of public gaming (even though open to one race only) cannot be over emphasised” Mr Hong said. 

The letter went on to state: “In the past the Government have been, very indulgent to the Chinese inhabitants here in that special licences had been granted to certain social organisations during the Chinese New Year. 

But time was ripe that the granting of such special licences should be put to a stop. 

“The fact that this is the only Colony in the British Empire that tolerates gaming on a festive occasion is not an overstatement. It is far from being complimentary.

“The law of the country prohibited gaming and yet every Chinese New Year saw the law relaxed for a few days for the Chinese!

“Judging from past records could the Government say that the request for such a licence was justifiable? 

“Viewed from a very simple angle, gambling during the Chinese New Year would produce two results: direct and remote – the direct consequences are that within only a few days most gamblers lose large sums of money – be the money the hard-earned savings or loans from relatives and friends or advances from the employers. 

“The remarkable feature is that the gamblers are usually made up of poor labourers, shop-assistants or farmers could hardly afford to gamble. The remote consequences, however, spring from the after effect or loss sustained. 

“The evils that follow-in-the-wake take form of quarrels in the family, of theft and robbery, of cheating and criminal misappropriation of money and so on. 

“Possibly the extreme case is to commit suicide,” the letter added. 

Mr Hong claimed that those persons who reap profit out of this evil are the few organisations, the handful of promoters, cite contractors of gambling stalls and the helping hands at the gambling stalls. 

Even in these case, the ill gotten wealth seldom remained. 

He said the overall miserable picture was that once the Chinese New Year was over the losers had to bear with debts contracted during the few days of gambling. 

Whereas the winners squandered the easy-come money away on vices, he said. 

The President on behalf of the right-thinking members of the North Borneo Chinese Association, do most earnestly and respectfully pray that steps be taken to withhold the granting of gambling licences with effect from the coming Chinese New Year. 


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