January 9, 2013 : POLITICAL AIDE WARNS AGAINST ONLINE GAMBLING
 
Claims that illegal online gambling could derail the goals of a minimum wage policy in Malaysia
 
Illegal internet gambling in Malaysia poses a threat to the goals of the nation's one-year-old minimum wages policy because citizens may fritter away wage increases on gambling online instead of improving the lifestyles of themselves and their families, claims Oscar Ling, a special adviser to Malaysia MP Wong Ho Leng.
 
The local newspaper The Star reports that the implementation of the MWP took effect last January 1 with the minimum wage set at RM900 in Peninsular Malaysia and RM800 in Sarawak and Sabah.
 
Ling said the main objective of the MWP was to raise the salaries of workers and hence increase their disposable income which in turn would upgrade their standard of living.
 
“If the extra income does not reach the intended sector, small and medium industries would be hit the hardest, followed by more serious inflation,” said Ling, who is a pharmacist by discipline.
 
Malaysian police have waged a continuing war on illegal internet gambling through raids on houses and small business premises for years but the pastime remains popular and has not been stamped out.
 
Ling claimed without substantiating his comment beyond a personal observation that normal business activities have noticeably slowed down because they are seriously being affected by illegal gambling.
 
He also voiced concern over the frequency of lottery draws which he said should be reduced as much as possible.
 
“I know a lot of people never miss buying lottery tickets for every draw. This has burdened many of them financially. Buying lottery tickets is gambling, and it also defeats the purpose of the MWP,” Ling alleged.