Posted by Unknown On Friday, May 7, 2010 14 comments
In 2001, one of the essay questions that my A-Level students had to debate during my General Paper classes was whether lotteries should be legalized. Then, the only one who supported the motion was a Singaporean (who went on to study law at King's College). Nine years later, I cannot believe that this topic is a national issue as reported HERE by Malaysian Insider:

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders have slammed a proposal to legalise sports betting, accusing the government of prioritising profit over social well-being.

The government confirmed yesterday that it was considering awarding a licence for sports betting ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in June, in what is seen as a move to boost flagging revenues.

PR leaders said they had long anticipated this move and had started an anti-gambling task force to pressure the government against legalising the vice.

They contend that legalising sports betting would have a negative social impact.

DAP Socialist Youth chief Anthony Loke said rumours the government was mulling the move had reached him a while back and this was raised in Parliament at the March sitting.

No answer was given then, said Loke, who leads the pact’s anti-gambling task force.

“This move shows that the government works in secrecy. There was never any consultation with the public and I am sure that the public would have a different opinion on the issue,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin told reporters in Parliament yesterday that legal football betting was being considered to contain the expected spread of illegal betting activities during the World Cup.

However, PR leaders have viewed the move as a means to replenish drying state coffers.

“The government is very desperate to raise its revenue to bridge the wide deficit gap,” Loke remarked.

“But what they are doing is encouraging gambling in society, especially among the young. More people will get into gambling, which will spill into more social problems like the spurring of loan sharks. It will tear apart the social fabric,” he added.

PAS central working committee member Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the Barisan Nasional (BN) government had compromised its own morality by agreeing to legalise sports betting.

“I question what is in the conscience of (Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) and especially all the muftis who are backing the BN government.

“In one breath, he is portraying this virtuous image, but on the other, he is allowing what then-premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had to put on hold,” said Dzulkefly, who sits on the task force on behalf of PAS.

Najib has been tapping gaming companies to boost revenue for the government since before he became prime minister in April last year.

A month after Najib assumed the Finance Ministry portfolio in September 2008, the government stealthily awarded an additional 10 special draws a year to three gaming companies, in a move to boost flagging government revenues ahead of the economic slowdown.

The number forecast operators involved were Magnum, Tanjong and Tan Sri Vincent Tan’s Berjaya Sports Toto.

The Kuala Selangor MP said Najib risks staining the image of his own Umno party, which supposedly thrives on the “religion, race and country” motto, saying the new policy would “throw all that out the window”.

It does not even meet the minimal aspects of morality let alone Islamic values,” said the PAS leader.

Dear rakyat of Malaysia, we have to take umbrage to any public policy issue that legalizes sports betting. As discussed in the MI report, those who espouse the legalization of sports better rest the bulk of their case on the economic benefits the state can experience.

Some may even have the cheek to assert that such a move is good as it can negatively impact illegal gambling. The ones who oppose legalization of sports betting such as amateur and professional sports leagues, the horse race industry, and legal bookmakers can attest to the fact that sports wagering is not very profitable and can be very risky for the operator.

Another point of consideration is that legal wagering will be unable to compete effectively with the price of illegal operations. If so, legalized sports betting can only entice more into the sin of gambling!!!

Does it make sense then to enact a law to legalize sports betting? If we want our citizens to live on a higher moral ground, will such a move put us in good stead to face the challenges in this world and to steer away from temptation? Any moralistic argument against gambling hold no sway if our government broadly legitimizes sports betting! Put simply, what is the point of promoting religion and moral behavior if the authorities fan the popularity and sin of the sport rests by legitimizing citizens' ability to bet all because they hope to raise revenue?

What is wrong with them? Is it always ringgit over rakyat????

Is the country so poor that we have to raise revenue via the regressive GST that penalizes the poor and via legalized sports betting that tears apart the already delicate moral fabric of society because of the shortage of moral leaders who lead exemplary lifestyles?

Consider the following arguments against sports betting.

1. Any form of gambling, including sports betting, is morally wrong because it goes against human nature and nobility. Any gambler would be violating his or her conscience if he or she succumbs to greed. Gambling promotes greed. Period.

The goal of any form of gambling is to get lots of money quickly! Those in this industry have the means to accomplish their goal effectively because gambling is a lucrative business.

2. The tendency to indulge in gambling becomes an irrational act to maximize chance against reason. Imagine what it can do to youth, the main group that indulges in sports betting. Sports betting also destroys the will, since intentionally maximizing risk "is the will to have no will."

3. Any legalization of sports betting or gambling of any nature would almost certainly lead to an increase in the number of people who lose money. Does it make sense that people lose money so that others earn money????

4. Any pro-gambling legalization can accent tension that comes when one exercises free choice in such a way that may lead to harm either to the individual or to society. Consistent with this stance, the pro-gambling forces would like government to enact policies that promote "greater freedom" for mature adults, but adds "tighter controls on the freedoms" of children and "vulnerable consumers."

5. Any government has to moral responsibility should respect the individual's right to behave as he or she wishes without affecting others.

6. How come the government suddenly regards gambling as a socially acceptable habit all in the name of containing "the expected spread of illegal betting activities during the World Cup"?

7. Who are the ones who will earn profits from such a law? Magnum, Tanjong and Tan Sri Vincent Tan’s Berjaya Sports Toto and others? How will it fill the government's coffers?

8. If the government wants to increase revenue, it can do so via legitimate channels such as progressive taxes which should encourage responsible citizenship. It should not legitimize sports betting or any form of gambling for moral and religious reasons!

There are far too many considerations against the legalization of sports betting to be listed here. At the end of the day, we have to ask ourselves why there are so many leakages in our country's expenditure and yet, instead of arresting this trend, some prefer to tax the people unnecessarily instead of plugging these leaks.

Is there no end to such mindless pursuits?

Say 'NO' to legalized sports betting.

Please voice your opinion/thoughts/view on this issue by leaving a comment. Thanks! Have a nice day!


  1. says:

    Kampung Girl Legal football betting was being considered to contain the expected spread of illegal betting activities during the World Cup.

    The best reason one could ever think of!!!!!

    Hidup BN government!

  1. says:

    Anonymous Live on a higher moral ground?
    Oh, it all depends!

    Now you see, then you don't!

  1. says:

    BravoEagleHotel NO NO NO .... Who asked him to BUY ELECTIONS ??? No More to spend is it for Sibu Buy Election ?
    SO DESPERATE seems the coffer is down to zero or scrapping !
    Remember we,Citizens are the BOSS !!!

  1. says:

    Ting Making sports betting legalized?

    So long as it can boost the flagging government revenues, why NOT?


    Oh, sorry. Duit punya pasal, tak ada moal pun tak apa lah.

    Malaysia Boleh!

  1. says:

    Anonymous I am 1,000,000 percent AGAINST GAMBLING!!! ANY FORM OF GAMBLING!!!

    While the "D"s in most cases simply means "digits", to me, it carries a more sinister meaning - DEATH.

    Out of a trillion habitual gamblers, probably only less than a 100 would have profited from it. The rest are just throwing away their hard-earned money. And when they run out of money, they'll turn to friends and family. When they run out of friends and family, they'll turn to Alongs. And when they run out of Alongs - that's when hell awaits them; the place they truly deserved to go.



  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Kampung Girl

    Reading the news can be an occupational hazard these days!!!

    Take care and have a blessed weekend.


  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Anon @ 12.01pm

    Very true! It depends who is looking and who we are looking at - selective vision, action and retention!


  1. says:

    Unknown Dear BravoEagleHotel

    Exactly! And I really hope as many citizens, if not all, remember that and to exercise their democratic right.

    Take care and thanks for speaking up!


  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Ting

    And to think they made Moral a compulsory subject for SPM?

    What sort of examples are we setting for youth today?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts which reverberate through cyberspace because it rings loud and clear.


  1. says:

    Unknown Dear StraightTalking

    Your comment really resonates with my post. Thank you so much for expressing your outrage most passionately and righteously.

    God bless you for your moral stand on this very important issue.

    Take care and have a blessed weekend!


  1. says:

    ahoo This is a very clear sign of desperation of the ruling regime. With a deficit coffer and with a giantic size civil service plus cabinet ministers, surely things that are contradictory to their own belief can also be compromise.

    With such wishy washy politician at the helm, we are spiralling down faster than the seconds tick by. What can we do to stop such misplaced politicians ? Just ask them to enjoy life with their pension and go fly kite !

    Gambling in any form be it sports or casino or buying of numbers is just not right and a no no for a country that is so proud of its religious obligation. What moral are we leaving to our youths?

    Don't use the excuse that because of the illegal betting syndicates, the govt now decide that with legalisation it will draw away illegal bets. If that excuse is valid, then I propose that prostitution be legalised as well to serve the "needy not greedy" foreign men. Besides that it can also serve politicians who lust after other women beside their wives. Malaysia bolih mah !!!

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear ahoo

    The bottom line is this - not only are the leaders morally bankrupt, many in society are too, thanks to the fantastic exemplary lifestyle of those goons and buffoons!

    If we do not make a stand on this issue, we can expect other legislation to be bulldozed through in the name of raising funds for the state coffers.

    Take care and have a blessed weekend.


  1. says:

    andychamp It depends on the condition that is it to be legal or illegal

  1. says:

    Unknown Hi Andychamp

    Very true. We have to measure and weigh circumstances carefully. Take care and thanks for sharing.


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