KUANTAN: Federal police have established a special team to monitor and tackle syndicates which are taking bets on the 14th General Election results.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim, said the team is staffed by officers and personnel experienced with such syndicates.
“We have gained plenty of experience in tackling such syndicates during the last general election. There have been no arrests yet but we are continuing our investigations to ensure that these bookies do not disrupt the election,” he said.
Noor Rashid said, if not dealt with, such activities could even disrupt election results in several parliamentary and state seats.
He also expressed confidence in the ability of the team to tackle the menace.
“Those with information can also channel it to us for further action,” he said.
MCA central committee member, Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker, had exposed the activities of the syndicates, which he said operated in hot spot areas contested by party leaders and Chinese majority areas.
The bookies, said Ti, believed to be backed by triads, would usually target hardcore party supporters and prey on their desire to see their respective candidates win.
Such activities, said Ti, occur during each general election. He said the bookies would usually start taking bets as soon as the Parliament and state assemblies are dissolved.
“Their modus operandi would usually take bets based on the number of votes which would be won or lost by a particular candidate. The political party supporters would then place bets on the number of votes.
“It’s the same as football betting. It’s not simply about which team wins or loses. The betting amount is usually set by the bookies and syndicates,” he told NSTP.
Ti, who is also MCA Religious Harmony Bureau chairman, also claimed that several politicians from certain parties would give their cooperation to the bookies, thus possibly affecting election results.
“This gives an advantage to the bookie, who can then make even more money. This is why these bookies usually select Chinese-majority areas.
“They know that there is greater opportunity for them to secure bets and rake in more profits,” he said.
Ti expressed concern over the possibility that voters would think only of their bets and vote a candidate without considering whether he or she is qualified or otherwise.
The matter, he said, needs to be dealt with by the authorities before it becomes a “cancer” in society.