(Kuching, Malaysia) – Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has defended the proposal to set up a casino at the Borneo Highland, stating that Sarawak belongs to people of all races and religions.
Despite opposition from some Muslims in Miri, who consider gambling to be “haram” or forbidden in Islam, the minister emphasized that the state is home to diverse beliefs and cultures.
“I understand that some people may have reservations about the casino, but we have to understand that Sarawak is a melting pot of cultures and religions. We cannot let one group’s beliefs override the interests of others,” he said.
The proposed casino has been a topic of debate in Sarawak, with some arguing that it could boost tourism and create job opportunities, while others worry about the potential social and moral consequences of gambling.
Abdul Karim also stated that the government would ensure that the casino operates in accordance with strict regulations and guidelines to prevent any negative impacts.
“We will ensure that the casino is run responsibly, and measures will be put in place to address any negative effects on society. At the same time, we must also consider the economic benefits that the casino could bring to the state,” he said.
The minister’s comments come amid ongoing discussions and negotiations regarding the proposed Malaysia casino project, which is still awaiting approval from the state government.