Gambling kingpins funding political parties, says Zahid

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GEORGE TOWN: Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is concerned over “gambling kingpins” funding political parties in the country.

He said as the general election draws closer, it had been learnt that these kingpins were channelling their ill-gotten gains to political parties.

Zahid did not offer further details or mention which party was involved but ordered police to crack down on such activities.

“I am not accusing, but I am worried that as we get closer to the polls, these kingpins are funding political parties.

“Police must use all their powers to eradicate this once and for all,” he said in his speech at a buka puasa function in Balik Pulau today.

Zahid said he was also very concerned about the rise of the illegal gambling situation in Penang.

He went on to describe Penang’s gaming and gambling problem as the “worst” in the state.

“I would like to ask our Penang police chief, Chuah Ghee Lye, to focus on this.

“I want to see gaming and gambling outlets eradicated once and for all.

“Chuah, I do not want to hear of these kingpins lording around.

“This is going to be a key performance indicator (KPI) for you and your officers in Penang.

“I will be behind the scenes to help, InsyaAllah,” Zahid said.

He said he was also worried about the Chinese community being victimised by gaming and gambling outlets.

“Although we are Muslims, this is a social issue and we are sympathetic to those affected.”

He added that it was unfair to segmentalise crimes based on race as crime usually depends on social settings.

He gave the example of Malays being said to be involved in drug cases, Chinese in gambling and Indians in gang-related issues.

“I pledge to eradicate crime, regardless of race. And it is good that I have the best cooperation from our inspector-general of police and Bukit Aman,” he said.