KUCHING: The mushrooming of illegal online gambling premises in Lawas is making local residents worried of the negative implications not only to adults, but also students who were seen patronising the
premises.Their concern was raised through Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian, who revealed that there were over 30 illegal online gambling premises in Lawas town, including in residential areas. “I remember I raised the issue of civil servants going bankrupt as a result of the habit of patronising these illegal online gambling premises and now people are very worried because students were seen patronising these premises.
“I was told that you just have to find coloured blinking lights as a signal that there is an illegal online gambling premises nearby,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
Concerned with the matter, Baru said the local people wanted the police to raid these premises.
“Many elected representatives have raised this issue in the State Legislative Assembly and we want to see action from the enforcement agencies. I don’t know who owns these (illegal online) gambling centres but we would be able to find out once we arrest the operators or raid their premises.”
According to Baru, another thing that the local people fear now is the rampant smuggling of stolen vehicles across the border.
“In this matter, I would like the establishment of the Royal Malaysian Customs post in the border to be expedited. I think only with that, we can really check.”
He said people living near the border had shown him a photograph of a transaction of a stolen vehicle in broad daylight.
Besides the illegal online gambling and smuggling of stolen vehicles, Baru said drug abuse in Lawas was also “getting worse”.
When asked if the police were involved in the drug abuse issue, he said: “There had been some allegations of police involvement.
“I was interviewed by the police on this last month who conducted investigation after this issue was published in The Borneo Post.
“In following up with the interview, I would like to find out what is the outcome and status of their investigation. I know they even went to Lawas when there were allegations that some police officers were involved.”
In order to create awareness of the hazards of drug abuse, he said he had proposed to launch an anti-drugs day in Lawas on Sept 13.
Meanwhile, PKR Petra Jaya branch chairman Baharuddin Mokhsen said the drug abuse issue highlighted by Baru was a real issue in the state.
“In Kuching, if you go to areas like Gita Laut, Siol Kandis and the other side of the river, you can find it and we have been highlighting on this issue. It is a real and big problem throughout the state.”