Call for the government to scrap the third weekly additional Empat Ekor draw as inimical to public interest

Press Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, June 28, l985.

Call for the government to scrap the third weekly additional Empat Ekor draw as inimical to public interest.

The Malaysian press gives prominent coverage to Magnum Corporation’s police report of suspected rigging of the first prize number – 1214 – in the June l5 Empat Ekor draw.

I have no comments on this incident, but I am surprised why there is no greater, or where at least equal, concern about the ‘rigging’ by Magnum Corporation in getting government approval for an additional third weekly Empat Ekor draw, for it is finally the people who will be the victims while Magnum Corporation will be the sole beneficiary.

At a period of economic recession, money is very tight, the holding of a third
weekly Empat Ekor draw will wipe out the pockets not only of the workers
and the low-income, but also adversely affect shopkeepers and businessmen
as the monies of their clients and customers had been siphoned off and hijacked
by the Magnum Corporation.

It is very surprising that at a time when the Barisan Nasional government is talking so
much about inculcating ‘Islamic’ values of clean, honest and upright living, the
Ministry of Finance should be encouraging Malaysians to gamble more.

Magnum Corporation is an associated company of Multi-Purpose
Holdings, the commercial arm of MCA. It is public knowledge that MPH,which at one
time was boosted as having the value of as much as $9 a share, has become a great
burden on its shareholders – as its present price is only 93 cents.

MPH should not try to make profits from the sufferings
of the ordinary Malaysians, and in particular the poor, as in increasing
the frequency of Empat Ekor draws to jack up the profits of its associated
company, Magnum Corporation.

The MCA is a political organisation, and must have a moral responsibility for the
welfare of the people. Both the Neo Yee Pan and Tan Koon Swan MCA factions
should spare a little time from their power struggle to look after the welfare of the people.

I call on both Neo Yee Pan and Tan Koon Swan MCA factions
to at least take a common stand to oppose the government approval of a
third Empat Ekor weekly draw – for though it may benefit MPH and the
MCA, it is clearly against the interest of the people.

Tan Koon Swan, in particular, has a special responsibility to make his faction’s
stand clear, for it is his faction which is in control of Magnum Corporation and MPH.

I also hope that Neo Yee Pan and other MCA Ministers would have the courage
to raise in the Cabinet the question of cancelling the third weekly Empat Ekor draw.