May 31, 2010 21:47 PM
PUTRAJAYA, May 31 (Bernama) -- Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government should increase enforcement to prevent Muslims from involving in gambling activities.
"Any Muslim caught gambling like betting will get arrested," he said when asked to comment on the granting of a licence to the Berjaya Group to manage sports betting in conjunction with the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
"We have many different races in this country. So, we cannot stop people from doing what to them is not 'haram' (forbidden) but for us Muslims, it is 'haram'," he told reporters, here Monday.
He said there was already enforcement on Muslims with regard to gambling, "but if they go to Singapore to gamble, there's nothing we can do about it".
The Finance Ministry had early this month issued the license to allow for legalised sports betting to curb the illegal operations.
Its deputy minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussein had said that if the government had not given the license, illegal betting would still take place, without proper control and monitoring by the authorities.