5/21/10 – Malaysia’s rather ponderously titled Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Ministry has declared war on gambling dens camouflaged as Internet cafes, reports local newspaper The Star.
Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin told the publication that he will no longer tolerate venues that are used to carry out gambling activities, and promised that his ministry will work with the Kuala Lumpur City municipal government to come down hard on outlets that ignore anti-gambling laws.
“We are in the process of coming up with by-laws to allow the city to act on outlets that break the law, but we hope the public will be our eyes and ears and give us feedback on outlets that are operating illegally,’’ the minister said.
“We may not have the necessary by-laws [in place] yet, but there are other ways we can take action against them [in the meantime] such as revoking their [Internet café] licences,’’ he said, adding that the mushrooming of illegal outlets is a worrying social phenomenon that must be nipped in the bud.
The Selangor Cyber Owners Association applauded the minister’s stand on the matter and pledged to work with the ministry to tackle the growing menace.
“We have come up with a set of proposed guidelines on cybercafes and we hope to work with the authorities concerned to resolve this matter,’’ said association deputy president Frank Ng, adding that the association would be submitting its proposal to the Ministry and that a copy had been submitted to the Selangor government last year.
Among others, the proposal suggests that children in school uniforms will not be allowed to such outlets, which should be required to have clear and untinted windows, and provisions aimed at banning the sale or use of alcohol and cigarettes on the premises.