Pakatan smoothes over lottery ban tiff

By Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) leadership council said today it would oversee any move to amend regulations or laws in states it controls, in a move to minimise the fallout from Kelantan’s lottery ban.

The pact’s de facto leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, told a press conference today that the council had agreed that while it would leave such decisions to the discretion of the state government, these matters should first be discussed among the pact’s top leaders.

“We would like stress on the need to leave such decisions to the state government… [but] with the stand that the state government must discuss among PR leaders before making any decision to change any existing laws.

“However, we are also aware that the power to approve betting licences lies in the hand of the federal government… led by Umno leaders,” he added after chairing the council meeting this afternoon.

Anwar said Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Nik Aziz Nik Mat had agreed to discuss the issue with PR leaders in a meeting to be held latest by Thursday.

“There will be two representatives from each PR party in the meeting. Among those to be a part of the delegation are Anthony Loke (DAP Socialist Youth chief), Tian Chua (or PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang), Dr Mohd Nur Manuty (PKR information chief), Datuk Mustafa Ali (PAS secretary-general), and others.

“The meeting will be held within the next few days, whether in Kedah or Kelantan, but latest by Thursday,” he said.

Anwar added that the meeting would help prevent any further misunderstanding on the matter.