Selangor Journal
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha on May 14, 2024. — Picture via FACEBOOK/ANWAR IBRAHIM

Anwar says no to second casino in Malaysia

DOHA, May 14 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has said a firm “no” to a second casino in the country.

Speaking at the Qatar Economic Forum (QEF) 2024 here today, Anwar said Malaysia is focusing on digital transformation, energy transition and artificial intelligence.

Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, said these are the sectors, among others, that are required to push future growth.

He said under his administration, there is “no need for a second casino in the country”.

“Affirmative no! Malaysia does not have to venture into the (second) casino business. We are focusing on digital transformation, energy transition, AI … and we believe this is adequate to push the country forward,” he told moderator Haslinda Amin in a plenary session here.

Anwar was asked whether the Madani government would allow a second casino.

Previously, the Prime Minister repeatedly denied a foreign news report about the possibility of issuing a second casino licence in Forest City, Iskandar Puteri, Johor.

Malaysia has granted only one casino licence, which was issued to Genting in 1969. The group has casino operations in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Singapore.

Anwar said despite Malaysia’s firm position on the Palestine-Israel issue, it has not impacted business and the country continues to attract new investments.

“I think (our position) is very clear. (For example), we are very strong in our relations with China. I do not subscribe to this xenophobia. We have been traditional allies, and most of our investments, in different states, still come in.

“(Such as) Germany, of course, the Middle East, even from the United States … by Microsoft, Google, they are all there (in Malaysia), they are coming aggressively in Malaysia, and we welcome them,” he said when asked whether Malaysia’s strong stance on Palestine had affected its relationship with trade partners or investments.

The Prime Minister also said Malaysia is well known in the regional semiconductor industry.

“Part of the reason for Malaysia’s success in the semiconductor industry is the support it receives from the United States.”

Anwar’s participation at the fourth edition of the QEF is part of his three-day official visit to Qatar, which ends today.

— Bernama

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