Sagah: No harm in having casino in Borneo Highlands, can spur Sarawak’s economy


Sagah (third right) during the press conference. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (March 25): Minister of Education, Innovation and Talent Development Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn has no qualms with the idea of opening a casino in Borneo Highlands.

He said he supports the idea as the casino may help spur the state’s economy.

“I still remember many years ago when Singapore also opposed the idea of having a casino but eventually they allowed gambling in Singapore and we see how it (has) developed. But of course, with all this, we must have certain guidelines to control gambling in our state.

“It’s not just a free-for-all, you know. At the same time, this is a way for us to attract private investors in this field,” he told a press conference after officiating the Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) Bidayuh Graduate Association (BGA) symposium at the association’s multipurpose hall here today.

Sagah also believed there is no harm in having a casino, saying that those who don’t know how to gamble or are now allowed to gamble will have no need to visit it.

“We are a free world, but those who have lots of money to gamble – go ahead.

“It helps to spur our economy. Of course I support the idea and I think from what I heard from our colleagues in DBNA and BGA, they are very receptive with this idea,” he said.

Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah recently said the possibility of developing Borneo Highlands into the country’s ‘second Genting Highlands’ could not be ruled out.

“I can’t say yes or no (to having casinos opened in Borneo Highlands) at the moment. I guess we’ll leave it to the state government to decide whether to allow casinos to be built there.

“It can be a good idea if regulated properly (because) Singapore can do it. I think why not, as long as it does not lead to big social problems,” he was reported as saying.

Abdul Karim had been asked by reporters on the state government’s development plans for Borneo Highlands following a Federal Court decision earlier this month in dismissing an application by a company for leave to appeal against an order made by the Sarawak Land and Survey Department Superintendent to forfeit three parcels of land meant for the development of Borneo Highlands Resort.