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MUIS should take a stand against exemptions to remote gambling act says opposition member

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Writing in his Facebook Reform Party member Osman Sulaiman has said that the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) should take a stand in the ongoing debate about exempting certain operators from the ban on remote gambling.

Last week, the National Council of Churches Singapore (NCCS) in a media statement alleged that the Government was sending confusing and conflicting signals by exempting operators under Remote Gambling Act. In expressing its grave concerns, it appealed to the Government to review its intended implementation of exempt operators under the Remote Gambling Act (https://theindependent.sg.sg/nccs-government-is-sending-confusing-and-conflicting-signals-by-exempting-operators-under-remote-gambling-act).

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin responded to NCCS statement and said that having a “managed space” for online gambling will allow the Government to provide a “safer alternative” for those who wish to place bets online. He said that the Government measures will not eradicate the problem of remote gambling, and so there is a need for a controlled outlet valve, that’s provided for by the law.

The Minister believes that in such a space, those that want to gamble can perhaps be in a safer space because organised crime will be removed from the picture. And also because safety measures can be put in place to try to manage the problem actively.

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The Minister’s comments had drawn criticisms from several quarters. Some have questioned if it is the same approach the Government would take to other problems which plague society.

Osman writing in Malay, has asked why MUIS has not issued any statement about the exemptions to remote gambling issued to Singapore Pools and and the Singapore Turf Club. He said the non-response by the religious authority will give the impression that it is a weak agency which will not voice out the concerns of many Muslims about the exemptions granted.

The following are Osman’s comments on the topic in Malay as published in his Facebook.


Apabila polisi membina 2 casino dibahas kan dalam parliament dan diletakkan pada kotak undian, tidak seorang pun AP Melayu/Islam menentang hasrat pemerintah. Malahan mereka setuju dgn hala tujuan pemerintah untuk membangunkan negara dgn hasil perjudian.

Yg mengundi tidak, ialah AP2 bukan Islam.

Baru2 ini, pemerintah meluluskan permohonan dari Singapore Pools dan Singapore Turf Club untuk menyediakan perkhidmatan ‘Online Gambling.’

Langkah itu menimbulkan kebimbangan daripada pihak Majlis Kebangsaan Gereja-Gereja yang menekankan bahawa perjudian akan meninggalkan kesan buruk terhadap masyarakat.

Yg peliknya, bantahan dari MUSI dan AP2 Melayu kita tidak langsung kedengaran. Walaupun Singapura adalah negara sekular, ini tidak bermakna nilai2 murni yg diajarkan kepada kita melalui agama Islam tidak boleh diluahkan.

Kita dapat melihat bagaimana Majlis Kebangsaan Gereja-Gereja memainkan peranannya terhadap masyarakat umum dengan mengambil pendirian tegas terhadap polisi2 pemerintah yg tidak sehaluan dgn ajaran agama mereka.

MUIS selaku kuasa tertinggi yg menyeliakan hal ehwal umat Islam di Singapura, seringkali didapati membisu apabila pemerintah menggubal rang undang2 yg bercanggah dgn ajaran Islam.

Pucuk kepimpinan MUIS yg lemah setelah beberapa dekat ini menjadikan organisasinya mandul. Tidak dapat memainkan perannya seperti yg diharapkan oleh masyarakat.

Pada masa jangkau yg panjang, kelemahan MUIS untuk membuat pendiriannya terhadap isu2 genting yg berkaitan dgn polisi2 negara, akan menghilangkan pengaruh masyarakat Islam Singapura.

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