Thursday, 8 December 2011

PAS will close Genting casino if it takes over Pahang


PAS stands by its plan should Pakatan take over Pahang in next election

By ROSLINA MOHAMAD and NIK NAIZI HUSIN newsdesk@thestar.com.my

Genting
FATE UNKNOWN: The casino in Resorts World may take its last bets if the Opposition wins at the polls — Pic: 1Malaysia Travel Blog

 KUANTAN: PAS is pushing ahead with its plans to shut down the casino in Genting Highlands if it takes over Pahang in the next general election.

Pahang PAS Youth chief Sharil Azman Abdul Halim said the only thing the party would allow the Genting Highlands resort to run was the theme park and other parts except the casino and gambling-related facilities.

“PAS has no intention of closing the whole place down as the highland resort is a major tourist attraction,” he said, reiterating the party’s stand on the matter.

Sharil Azman is the third person to state the party’s stand after two PAS assemblymen, Syed Hamid Syed Mohamad (Kuala Semantan) and Syed Mohammed Tuan Lonnik (Beserah), stated recently that the party could not tolerate gambling and would close the casino if the Opposition took over the state.



Sharil Azman said this in response to allegations in the state assembly that PAS intended to close down the resort if the Pakatan Rakyat coalition captures the state at the next polls.

Backbenchers Datuk Chuah Boon Seong (BN–Mentakab) and Datuk Pang Tsu Ming (BN–Semambu) had raised this matter on Wednesday.
Syed Mohammed had clarified to the two Barisan Nasional reps that only the gambling facilities would cease operations while other tourism-related activities would continue.

Shahril Azman said it was the PAS Youth wing that had come out with the proposal to shut the gambling business.

Meanwhile, when met on the sidelines of the assembly sitting, Syed Mohammed said he stood by the Islamic teaching that gambling is a sin.

“The party’s stand on gambling is also clear,” he said, adding that the country did not need to include in its coffers revenue from gambling.

He said it would be up to the Pakatan leaders to reach an amicable decision on Genting Highlands and its gambling activities should the Opposition alliance rule the state.

He said non-Muslims were free to drink and gamble and Islam did not prevent them from doing so, such as at their homes and other places of their own.

Chua: Casino closure plan shows hudud will affect non-Muslims

PUTRAJAYA: PAS is contradicting itself when it claims the implementation of hudud is not likely to affect non-Muslims.

MCA Young Professionals Bureau chairman Datuk Chua Tee Yong said its intention to close the Genting Highlands casino would surely affect some of the 15,000 people working there.

He said the tourism industry would be severely affected if Pakatan Rakyat went ahead with its decision as the resort received some 20 million visitors yearly.

“How can PAS claim the implementation of the law would not affect non-Muslims?

“What would happen to the people working there? Wouldn’t they become jobless?” he asked yesterday.
Chua said the country would also lose about RM1bil in tax revenue if the casino was closed.

He hoped the rakyat would scrutinise PAS’ claim on the matter as the party was fond of changing its stand to suit the situation.

“DAP should state its stand now and not say the matter would be discussed if Pakatan Rakyat took over the state,” he said.

PAS’ intention to close down the casino was disclosed by a government backbencher at the Pahang state assembly sitting on Wednesday.

Mentakab assemblyman Datuk Chuah Boon Seong asked whether PAS had considered the fate of the resort’s workers should it implement the move.

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