Pakatan targets Kelantan Umno leader over football betting licence

By Adib Zalkapli, The Malaysian Insider

The PAS campaign in Galas revived the football licence debacle, placing much of the blame on Kelantan Umno deputy chief Datuk Dr Awang Adek Husin for the now aborted venture.

At a rally in an all-Malay village of Sungai Terah both PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng reminded the voters how Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) opposition to football betting resulted in its cancellation.

“Who wanted football betting? Incidentally he is a Kelantanese. The man from Bachok,” said Kelantan Mentri Besar Nik Aziz.

“I was so embarrassed by his action,” he told the crowd of about 200.

Last May Awang Adek who is a deputy finance minister had announced that the government was seriously considering legalising sports betting ahead of the 2010 World Cup.

The decision however was overturned less than two months later when Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the government would not issue a football betting licence, just weeks after tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan said his Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd had received approval for an old licence.

Several Barisan Nasional (BN) parties had supported the move but Umno Johor, Perak and Youth wing opposed the licence saying the social cost outweighed the possible tax revenue.

Tan’s listed Berjaya Corporation Berhad had announced the approval in a filing to Bursa Malaysia last May 12 but Najib denied it in Parliament on June 7.