PETALING JAYA- People who live in glass houses should not throw stones, Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) president Abdul Hadi Awang said in response to Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s remarks suggesting that Perikatan Nasional (PN) was funded by gambling revenue.
PAS is a member of the PN coalition.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Tan Sri Abdul Hadi said the PAS state government shut gambling premises in Kelantan in the 1990s, but claimed that gambling licences were issued by Mr Anwar himself, who was finance minister then.
The Marang Member of Parliament said the recent allegations were illogical as it would have been “stupid” of gambling firms to finance PAS, which Pakatan Harapan (PH) had accused of being like the Taliban.
He also pointed out that PAS had taken an aggressive stance against gambling in the states under its control – namely Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah – by shutting it down.
On Monday, Datuk Seri Anwar had hit out at the previous PN government for allowing 22 special draws for 4D numbers yearly during its tenure.
“On the issue of gambling, certainly this is partly used to finance elections. (I have asked for) checks on that.
“Whether you call yourself a Malay party or an Islamist party, notwithstanding, the (election) funds came from gaming companies,” Mr Anwar had said.
Meanwhile, the PAS Ulama Council said Mr Anwar must explain claims of foreign funding given to PH and not make baseless allegations against PN.
In a statement on Wednesday, head of the council, Datuk Ahmad Yahya, said PAS will also begin legal action against Mr Anwar for accusing the party of receiving gambling revenue without providing any proof.
“How could he justify allegations that it is ‘assumed’ that PN received funding (from gambling revenue) without providing clear proof? “Do not turn the government formed after GE15 into a ‘kerajaan Pak Pandir’ (simpleton government).
He said the Kedah state government under PN is strictly committed to shut down all gambling premises beginning next year. He said this follows the decisions made by the state governments of Kelantan and Terengganu.
He also claimed that the tax gained from the gambling sector was the highest during the PH’s rule in 2019, reaching more than RM 3.4 billion (S$1 billion)– the highest since 2010.
Mr Ahmad noted, however, that the main issue was the claim of foreign funding received by PH which raised public concerns earlier.
“This allegation is more dangerous as it means risking the country’s sovereignty to foreign interests,” he said THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK.