Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Don't Bet on Vincent Tan

On Monday, The Malaysian Insider drew my attention to Berjaya Corp head honcho Vincent Tan – he had publicly expressed his frustrations at the government’s U-turn over the sports betting license he said had been promised to his Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd. Tan is probably the sort of person who is used to having his way, but this time, he had underestimated the Prime Minister. The license he was expecting wasn’t going to materialize because cautious Najib prefers to playing it safe and had decided last Friday not to issue the said license to Ascot. You can say that Najib had capitulated to public pressure. And of course, Tan was not only peeved, but also upset. You can’t blame him for getting steamed up because he stands to earn RM525 million when he sells his 70% stake in Ascot to Berjaya Corp (according to a May 12 filing to Bursa Malaysia) – provided of course, he is awarded this license. Now it is just an empty boast. Hahaha!

But what is really funny is that Tan praised those people who had supported this avaricious endeavor of his by calling them “the true embodiment of 1 Malaysia”! I don’t even understand what he means by that. I mean, what has it got to do with 1 Malaysia? I suppose a BN crony is not averse to corrupting Najib’s 1 Malaysia concept for his own self-seeking ends!

“You [Tan’s supporters] are rational realists and true leaders of our multi-cultural and multi-religious society. You are not a hypocrite nor a humbug nor a holy pious pretender but a true God-fearing devotee of a Better Malaysia,” he said in a text message to his supporters according to a statement from Ascot Sports (Webpage He sure sounds pompously imperious. And mindlessly fatuous.

And guess what? The people who are supporting him and his money-making schemes are from MCA, Gerakan, PPP and even some elements in UMNO – the latter had the smart ass audacity to imply that gambling is part of Chinese culture!

Mohd Nazri Aziz had said “…There are things that sometimes non-Muslims do, for example, gambling,” he was quoted by The Malaysian Insider. “It is their culture, their way of life and we have to respect their rights” (Webpage, posted June 20, 2010).

Rais Yatim also said, “...that betting is a way of life for the non-Muslims. We have to respect that, and just adding one more does not hurt".

Even ex-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had added, “The Chinese always gamble, it isn’t haram for them. Why stop them?” (Blogpage, posted June 24, 2010).

How demeaning! How offensive! How disrespectful!

In this penultimate knock-out match, Paraguay and Japan were both playing a mainly defensive game – the aggression was largely missing! A scoreless draw at full-time and even after extra-time pointed to the unavoidability of a penalty shoot-out. And so the final score was 5-3 in Paraguay’s favor and they’re in the quarter-finals of the WC for the first time in their history. Hard luck to Japan!

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