QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON GAMING in the State Legislative Assembly sitting, Nov 1-7, 2001 

YB. Datuk Yong Teck Lee, the Assemblyman for Likas (N.13) Constituency, raised a total of six questions at the 2001 State Budget Session of the State Legislative Assembly (Nov 1-7, 2001) on matters related to the Gaming issue in Sabah. 

The oral answer to Question 1 was given at the Assembly meeting on Nov. 5. Written answers to other questions raised were obtained after the adjournment of the Session. 

In view of the wide public interest on the Gaming issue, the Likas State Assemblyman publishes below these questions and answers so that the people of Sabah, particularly those in the Likas Constituency, can have a clearer picture of the situation. 

(Yong's personal notes appear at the end of each answer in italics.) 

On Monday, 5th November 2001 

QUESTION 1: 
YB Datuk Yong Teck Lee asked the Chief Minister to state what year gaming licences were first issued to: 
(a) Sport Toto 
(b) Sandakan Turf Club 
(c) Syarikat Diriwan Corporation Sdn. Bhd. 

Were these licences issued by the State Government or Federal Government ? What was the total number of draws allowed per week to each company ? 

ANSWER: 
Honourable Speaker, The first gaming licence issued to: 
(a) Sport Toto was in the year 1970; 
(b) Sandakan Turf Club was in the year 1975; 
(c) Syarikat Diriwan Corporation Sdn. Bhd. was in 1988 (6 August). 

Honourable Speaker, 
The gaming licences in the State of Sabah were issued by the Federal Government according to the Pool Betting Act 1967 which was extended to Sabah in 1992. 

The number of draws was 3 per week, i.e. on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. 

[NOTE: Not a single gaming licence was issued by the Barisan Nasional Government under any Chief Minister since 1994.] 

On Tuesday, 6 November 2001 

QUESTION 22: 
YB Datuk Yong Teck Lee asked the Chief Minister to state: 
(a) The number of 4-D outlets for each of the licensed gaming in Sabah for the years 1991 and 2001; 
(b) The number of draws and draw days approved to each of the 4-D gaming companies from 1991 to 2001. 

ANSWER: 
The number of 4-D outlets allowed for each company that has been given the gaming licence in Sabah between 1991 and 2001 are as follows: 

Name of Company No. of Outlets in 1994 No. of Outlets in 1996 No. of Outlets in 1997
Sport Toto 66 33 33
Sandakan Turf Club 120 60 50
Syarikat Diriwan Corporation Sdn Bhd 207 120 -

Honourable Speaker, 
The number of draws per week allowed for each gaming company between 1991 and 2001 is 3 times per week, i.e. on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. 

[NOTE: 
1. The Barisan Nasional Government has been consistent and fair in reducing gaming outlets and number of draws of all the companies. 
2. The loss of 120 outlets belonging to Syarikat Diriwan Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (Lotteries 88) was never replaced by that of any other gaming companies.]
 

On Monday, 5th November 2001

QUESTION 24: 
YB Datuk Yong Teck Lee asked the Chief Minister to state: 
(a) The number of 4-D outlets approved for each licensed gaming company as at 1st October 2001. What is the number of 4-D outlets for year 2002 ? 
(b) The number of draws per week approved for each gaming company as on 1st October 2001. What is the number of draws per week for year 2002 ? 

ANSWER: 
Honourable Speaker, I wish to answer the question posed by the Honourable Member for the constituency N13 Likas in conjunction with his Question No. 23 on Tuesday, 6th November 2001 since the issue raised has relevance. 

Honourable Speaker 
(a) The number of 4-D outlets approved for each licensed gaming company on 1st October 2001 is as follows:- 
i) Sport Toto - 33 outlets 
ii) Sandakan Turf Club - 40 outlets 
iii) Syarikat Diriwan Corporation Sdn. Bhd. - 40 outlets 

Honourable Speaker, 
The Malaysian Treasury has made the decision to reduce the number of STC outlets from 50 to 40. Nonetheless, STC made an appeal for the 10 outlets (to be cut) to continue operating till 31st December 2001. 

Honourable Speaker, 
The number of 4-D outlets in 2002 is as follows:- 
Sport Toto - 33 outlets; 
Sandakan Turf Club - 40 outlets; 
Syarikat Diriwan Corporation Sdn. Bhd - 40 outlets. 

Honourable Speaker, 
(b) The number of draws per week approved for each licensed gaming company on 1st October 2001 and the number of draws allowed for the year 2002 is 3 per week, i.e. on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. 

Honourable Speaker, 
The licence for Pool Betting is issued by the Federal Minister of Finance under the Pool Betting Act 1967. 

Insofar as the State Government is aware, the Pool Betting licence issued to Diriwan Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (Syarikat Diriwan) has never been cancelled. What transpired was that the Federal Government did not approve renewal of the licence to Syarikat Diriwan beginning the year 2000. The authority for renewal of the Pool Betting licence lay with the Minister of Finance, Malaysia. The State Government is only accorded the opportunity to give its viewpoint from the policy perspective only. Because of this, the State Government does not have information concerning the reasons behind the non-renewal by the Federal Government of the master gaming licence issued to Syarikat Diriwan. 

[NOTE: 
1. Self-explanatory. Outlets increased by 30 net. Draws increased by 3 per week. 
2. If the State Government really does not know why the gaming licence was cancelled/not renewed by the Federal Government, then it should find out the reasons. 
3. What was the State Government's views on the policy conveyed to the Federal Government?]

Supplemetary Information for Question No. 24 

The Trading Licence (gaming) in Sabah is processed and issued by the Licensing Authority under the authority of the Trades Licensing Ordinance 1948. The Licensing Authority is vested with the presidents of municipal councils, district officers and other officers appointed by the Federal Minister as a Licensing Authority. The Licensing Authority discharges its duties under the purview of the Federal Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs. This is because the Trades Licensing Ordinance1948 has been declared as a federal law in accordance with the Federal Constitution. Under this Ordinance, the State Government has no power under the aegis of law to issue any directive to the Licensing Authority forbidding it to issue Trading Licence by the holder of the Pool Betting licence. 

Besides the Trading Licence under the Trades Licensing Ordinance, licence governed by by-laws enforced by the Local Authorities relating to gaming activities are the Premises Usage Bylaws. These by-laws come under the Local Government Ordinance 1961 and because of this, it is administered by the State Government. Any gaming activity in the Local Government Administered Area is forbidden in any premises unless licensed under the by-laws concerned. 

[NOTE: Self-explanatory.] 

On Tuesday, 6th November 2001 

QUESTION 23: 
YB Datuk Yong Teck Lee asked the Chief Minister to state when was the gaming licence belonging to Diriwan Corporation Sdn. Bhd. cancelled ? Was the license cancelled by the State Government or Federal Government ? What was the reason for the cancellation ?
 

[NOTE: This question was answered in conjunction with Question No. 24 on Monday, 5th November 2001.] 

QUESTION No. 28: 
YB Datuk Yong Teck Lee asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing what are the Terms of Reference of the Cabinet Committee on Tambalang Race Course ? What is the outcome or recommendation of the Cabinet Committee ? 

ANSWER: 
Honourable Speaker, To respond to the question from the Honourable Member for N.13 Likas, the Cabinet Committee on the Tambalang Race Course does not have any specific terms of reference but in general is entrusted to review the re-development of Tambalang. 

The Committee concerned had met a number of times to hear the report and explanations from relevant agencies, notably the State Attorney-General Department and the Ministry of Finance being the Government's signatories to the Agreement with Syarikat Diriwan on the Tambalang Race Course. The Committee has made recommendations that my Ministry prepare a Cabinet Paper to table the proposals that are considered befitting for the re-development of the race course. 

[NOTE: Self-explanatory.] 

QUESTION No. 30 YB Datuk Yong Teck Lee asked the Minister of Finance whether the State Government has been in full compliance with the terms and conditions of the rental agreement with Syarikat Diriwan Corporation Sdn Bhd for the Tambalang Race Course ? If not, what are the breaches ? Has Syarikat Diriwan Corporation Sdn Bhd also been in full compliance with the agreement ? If not, what are the breaches ? 

ANSWER 
Honourable Speaker, 
To respond to the question posed by the Honourable Member for Likas, the State Government did not breach any provisions in the lease agreement with Diriwan Corporation Sdn. Bhd. Rather, Diriwan Corporation Sdn Bhd since June 2000 has failed to make payment for the monthly rental of RM250,000 for the Tambalang Race Course. They have also never carried out any maintenance work as required. However, the Company did write to the State Government requesting for a relaxation of the conditions until they resume their 4-D operations. 

The Government has agreed to renew the Trading Licence for their 4-D operation subject to a review of the lease agreement. In addition, Diriwan Corporation Sdn Bhd was requested to pay the arrears of the monthly rental for the period June 2000 till now; improve the physical conditions of the Tambalang Race Course and forward their new proposal for the development of the Tambalang Race Course.

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