Statement on Legal Sports Betting

Posted on May 26, 2010


Assalamualaikum wbt,

Dear Friends, let us put aside the PPO or P.Econs for a while, try to look on the newly announced contract by the government of Barisan Nasional (BN) granted to the Berjaya Group on the license of Sport betting (click here for the source). There are pros and cons from this action taken by the BN (or I can say the UMNO BN/UBN). And as we know, logically, the cons is much greater than the pros, of course. In Islamic teaching, gambling or betting is clearly prohibited, as we can refer to the holy quran, in surat-ul-maidah, versus 90

‘O believers! Wine and gambling and idols and divining arrows are only unclean things, a work of devil (Satan) then save yourselves from them, so that you may prosper.

Islam, which means peace, is a guidance for the human being. If we think deeply, gambling or betting will give a very negative impact, not only for muslim, but for anyone. It may gives money and wealth to some people, but the rest, will get suffered. Try to imagine, if one guy, with a family. When he try to get involved in gambling, he will spend some money which the money is supposed to be given to his wife or children for foods and books. If he loss the money, his family will get suffered. And if he won, other people will get suffered because they loss their money. and as the result, the social illness will increase. It is clear that gambling or betting activities gives more cons rather than pros, for all people, muslim or non muslim.

In 1990, when the Pan Islamic Party of Malaysia (Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, PAS) become the state government of Kelantan, among the first thing that Dato’ Nik Abdul Aziz did was having a discussion with the leaders for all religions in Kelantan. 2 main things were discussed in the meeting; 1) the alcoholic drinks and; 2) betting activities. Some of the religions allows alcoholic drinks but for the betting activities, it is prohibited, for all religions. (you can refer to the political milestone of PAS in ruling Kelantan)

Recently, series of demonstration were done by the youth of Pakatan Rakyat which consists of Dewan Pemuda PAS, Angkatan Muda KeADILan and DAPSY to show their protest on the action taken by the government regarding the sport betting. Not to be forgotten is ABIM, GAMIS, NGOs and others. And surprisingly, some of the division of UMNO (including PAKKU and some of the ministers and ex-ministers) were also disagree with the decision by the government of BN led by UMNO. People with a healthy mind will say, gambling or betting will just give more disadvantages instead or the advantages. Below is some of the comments from our non-muslim friends about the Legal sport betting. (source)

Looi Hip Peu: Perhaps some debunking of common myths are required:

1. ‘Legalised gambling reduces illegal gaming and crime’: Studies show that the opposite holds. Legalised gambling encourages people to gamble when they normally don’t. It in fact gives impetus to the illegal gaming sector by promoting an expanded market;

2. ‘Legalised gambling promotes the local economy’: Again hogwash! Legalised gambling, especially when promoted amongst the local populace, is akin to economic cannibalism;

3. ‘Legalised gambling is a significant source of revenue for the government’: I really do not want to go into this… as perhaps most readers will be aware of the counter-arguments and spins on this issue.

Ja Min Ranjit: There is no reason to license sports betting. Our youth should not be given the wrong impression. This government decision stinks. Look at the 4D betting operations. Gamblers now bet 4D on Kuda, Magnum and Toto.

Let these three companies operate and compete, but there should be only one result. Let these three companies rotate in organising the draw. Maybe Kuda on Wednesday, Magnum on Saturdays and Toto on Sundays. There should not be any more Tuesday special draws.

These draws are killing the hardcore punters, and it is not good for Malaysians. They’re only filling up the government coffers.

Im writing here not because i want to get political millage for the Pakatan Rakyat (PAS PKR DAP), but this is for the betterment of Malaysian. As Islam is the way of life, I would like to invite all to discover the real beauty of Islam. And one of them is through the order given by Allah in surat-ul-maidah verse 90. In Islam, it is not compulsory for our non muslim friends to belief in Islam, but it is compulsory for all muslim to spread the beauty of Islam all over the world.

There fore, i would like, all of you to show that we are disagree with the action taken by the government on the issues of sport betting. And as we are categorized under intellectual people category, our voice can influence many people, thus, please use our voice wisely, when you go back to your home later on, explain this issue to all. I’m not advising you to advertise this action in the political point of view, but from the view of a friends which want to see all Malaysian can live peacefully.

Awangku Alizul Azahari

Geoscience and Petroleum Engineering Department

note: I want to apologize for any grammatical errors…