ALOR SETAR, Nov 18 — Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said today any party who wishes to file a judiciary review on the state government’s decision to no longer issue permits for gambling premises in the state is welcomed to do so.
He said they had the right to challenge the decision if they felt that it contravened any law under the Federal Constitution.
“They can challenge the decision if they feel closing down the premises contravened any law. In my opinion, the move taken is based on the laws of the country. Kelantan and Terengganu did the same thing and did not face any lawsuit at all.
“I do not bar them from taking any action necessary to defend gambling premises. I am prepared because the action taken by the state government is also based on the law,” he told a media conference after the State Assembly sitting here today.
He was asked to comment on plans by certain quarters to file a judiciary review on the decision of the state government which purportedly contravened the Federal Constitution and denied the right of non-Muslims.
Muhammad Sanusi said the state government’s decision was not aimed at denying the rights of non-Muslims because gambling activities also involved Muslims and impacted very badly on society regardless of race and religion.
Commenting on claims that the state government’s move would result in the proliferation of unlicensed gambling activities in the state, he said the licensed gambling activities must be stopped first and the issue of unlicensed gambling activities would be tackled later.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Sanusi also apologised to the Penang Mufti, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Salim Wan Mohd Nor who had chided him for linking Penang when asking the people of Kedah to cross over to the state if they wanted to buy four-digit lotteries.
Muhammad Sanusi said the statement was not meant to picture Penang as a state which encouraged gambling.
However, he said, when Kedah no longer allowed gambling premises operations, any individual in the state who wanted to gamble could go to states which allowed gambling premises, including Penang.
“That’s what I meant, it was not my intention to insult Penang. I accept the reprimand from Dr Wan Salim, he is Mufti of Penang, I feel he should advise Penang to make the same move as Kedah,” he added.