The Growing Problem Of Illegal Gambling In Malaysia
It is easy to get addicted to illegal gambling in Malaysia. In fact, the addiction is so powerful that some people have turned to it as a means of livelihood. Gambling can be traced back to the country’s historical times. At that time, the local population relied on salt, which they used to cure their wounds. Today, the same people still search for salt. Today, gambling has spread its wings to include the Malaysian Peninsular, closing in on all areas of Malaysia from the capital Kuala Lumpur to the tiny hamlets of Taman, Bintang and Perlakkad.
According to the law, any person who engages in malpractice, whether money-changing or otherwise, commits a crime in Malaysia and is liable to pay a tax. However, illegal gambling in Malaysia also includes betting or playing in an illegal place, including sports matches and the like. The law, according to the Malaysian Berlitz daily, specifies that “a penalty of a fixed amount payable by a person to another, who is a resident of Malaysia, for an act constitutes gambling if that act is conducted for money.”
Because of the wide spread of internet, many countries have become victims of cybercrime and this includes Malaysia. Cyber crimes in Malaysia include activities such as hacking (the unauthorized access to a computer system) and malware (programs designed to destroy or steal data). Moreover, many cyber crimes in Malaysia also include the facilitation of gambling, which includes the use of chat rooms, instant messaging, online casinos, bingo, card games, raffles, sweepstakes, and gambling software.
Recently, the home minister stated that there is no place for online gambling in Malaysia. In response, an amendment was brought into a bill introduced in the house to ban online gambling. This amendment states that any gambling activity in Malaysia involving an amount exceeding $1 will be illegal. The home minister said that this provision is aimed at preventing the entry of illegal gambling devices into Malaysia. This is the same section of the bill under which the current laws on gambling were amended.
In Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, many areas have become illegal gambling dens. In fact, the numbers of these gambling venues has increased dramatically in the past two years. Many areas in Kuala Lumpur have more than ten casinos. According to the latest estimates, there are more than twenty gambling venues in the capital alone, which is almost one hundred and fifty in all. The same trend can be observed in other areas of Malaysia including Putrajaya, Langkawi, Cameron Islands, and Melaka.
The increase in the number of illegal operators in Malaysia has also caused problems in the tax collection system in the country. Many operators now pay taxes that they are not legally required to pay. The fuel subsidy, which was supposed to support the local government failed to reach the intended recipients due to the increasing number of illegal operators. This means that the Malaysian authorities are facing a tough time in collecting the necessary tax dues from the operators. The lack of cooperation on the part of the local taxation department is leading to the failure of the system to make any headway in the tax collection sector.
The lack of cooperation between the local administration and the tax authority has made the implementation of a work initiative in Malaysia quite difficult. On the one hand, the proposal seeks to increase the power of the central government in the economy. On the other hand, the proposal seeks to reduce the power of the regional bodies by converting them into regional extensions of the federal government. Both the initiatives are being discussed at the national level. The national scheme will be implemented first but the work program for the regional bodies will be implemented after the national scheme is implemented successfully. The work program for the local governments was developed after extensive consultations with the local population.
The Gaming Commission of Malaysia, which is responsible for the regulation of all gaming activities within the country has tabled a proposal to introduce a law which prohibits the transfer of any winnings from an online gambling site to an individual in the country. This is one measure, that the national government has taken to control the illegal operators in the country. However, the proposal has met with resistance from the legal gaming operators. The proposal is yet to be passed by the lower house of assembly.