Saturday, March 29, 2014

Legitimate businesses used as fronts for illegal online gambling centres - My replies

The only action can be taken by local councils are enforcement and licensing. Enforcement can be done on the illegal gambling dens by confiscating their equipment. The offenders will be issued a compound. Secondly, the local council can refuse to renew licenses to these eateries, motorcycle and car workshops, handphone shops and other supposedly legitimate businesses. If they run their businesses without a valid license, compound can be issued on them and they have to pay fines of a few hundred ringgits under the local by-laws.

Do you think this is sufficient to stop them from operating illegally? Certainly no. If we are talking about enforcement, definitely more powers and heavier fines are needed for the local councils to act on them.

Do you think the local council alone can stop them? Certainly no again. There are many other regulatory bodies like PDRM, Immigration Department, Telekom Malaysia, Syabas and TNB who has bigger powers to act on them. Terminating electricity and water supplies are considered one of the best options. However, local councils don't always get the supports needed.

So day-in-day-out, year-in-year-out, local council enforcement continue to raid them, confiscate their materials, fine them with maximum compounds (which are totally peanuts in the eyes of their behind-the-scene big bosses). Once they paid their fines, they can reclaim all their equipment.

Why can't we charge them in court? Not a bad idea, right? True, we can charge them in court. At the end of the day, we have to sort of the logistic problems. Extra storage space and manpower are needed. Local councils need to investigate and pass the charge to AGC for action. They may be found guilty but they can pay the fine and go to jail for a few months. All these are not a problem for the underworld. The most interesting part is, do not think that the fines go to the coffer of local councils. It goes back to the federal governemnt. So at the end of the day, local councils ended up getting nothing after all the hard work. The lawsuits may take up even several months.

So what are the solutions?

Clean the bad blood in the local council enforcement and others, including the PDRM. Allow the local council more powers legally to enforce the local by-laws. What are your views?

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