Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Crackdown on cybercafés operating as gambling dens - The Star

IPOH: Jul 22, 2008 By HAH FOONG LIAN

The Perak government will start cracking down on cybercafés that operate as gambling dens with immediate effect.

Issuing the stern warning after meeting members of Perak Cyber Centre Association led by its president Chang Tat Guan on Tuesday, state Education, Local Government, Housing and Public Transport Committee chairman Nga Kor Ming said:

“We have given a one-month notice to the cybercafé operators.”

Nga pointed out that he had received a lot of complaints from parents and teachers that schoolchildren were spending a lot of time at the cybercafés.

“We are not saying all cybercafés are operating like gambling dens. There are some black sheep that even give loans to students and charge them Ah Long (loan shark) interest,” Nga said.

He said the children would steal money from their parents to pay off their debts with the loan sharks.

“We want to tell such cybercafé operators that we are going to close them down immediately,” he said, adding: “No compromises and no appeals.”

Nga said he had instructed the relevant departments not to entertain appeals from such cybercafé operators.

He said there were 241 licensed cybercafés in the state and another 19, which were operating without a licence, adding that operators must adhere to strict guidelines at their premises.

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