The state government of Kedah in Malaysia has decided to ban all 4D lottery shops.
The Star reported on Nov. 14 that the chief minister of Kedah, Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor, said the ban will be enforced "immediately" by not issuing new premises licenses for gambling premises in the state.
This means that gambling premises with existing licenses cannot get theirs renewed, and new licenses will not be distributed either.
PAS chief minister
Muhammad Sanusi is a member of the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS).
He claimed that as a Muslim and Kedah's head of government, he was obliged to take this step as he "did not want to be questioned in the afterlife."
He elaborated that gambling has caused a "negative effect" on human institutions and civilisation too.
Muhammad Sanusi added that he "refused to be scolded" by unspecified people, whom he claimed would disparage him if he did not take this step.
He also said that people in Kedah who wished to buy 4D lottery tickets could do so in Penang instead, a neighbouring state.
In a separate move, Muhammad Sanusi said he planned to limit the sale of alcoholic beverages in the state, but claimed this would not affect non-Muslim residents.
Backlash from other politicians
Members of other political parties have slammed Muhammad Sanusi for the move.
Free Malaysia Today reported on Nov. 14 that T Mohan and Chong Sin Woon of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) and the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) respectively have spoken out against it.
Both parties are members of the Barisan Nasional coalition, which was formerly allied with PAS in the previous Muhyiddin government.
T Mohan, the party's vice president, said that Muhammad Sanusi "loves cheap publicity" at times, and said that a better move would have been to reduce the number of shops instead of an outright ban.
Chong, the party's secretary-general, said that Malaysian state governments should respect multiculturalism, and while it did not encourage gambling, it would defend the right of choice of non-Muslims.
Top image from Google Maps.