Sunday, August 05, 2001

Tawau Council under fire over illegal slot machines

Daily Express

Tawau: The Tawau Municipal Council (TMC) has come under fire from a former councillor who claimed nothing had been done to curb illegal slot machine activities in the town area and failure to resolve the problem of improper garbage disposal and unkempt squatter colonies.

The allegation came from Kenneth Goh and a member of the public, Wong Su Vui, during a dialogue session with Chief Minister Datuk Chong Kah Kiat here, on Saturday.

Goh claimed there were 36 outlets offering illegal gambling activities with 200 slot machines within the four-mile radius of the town area.

Despite closure and frequent police raids, the operators would continue with their illegal activities a few days later, he said, adding that most of the premises were located in shoplots.

Chong said Goh should submit his report in writing on the activities, particularly to the police so that he could be properly briefed on the situation.

Wong claimed that the Council's enforcement personnel had been "rather harsh" on the local hawkers at the Palcom and Fuji markets, using high-handed tactics citing lack of cleanliness, while no action had been taken against some 500 stalls near the car park areas which had no water and power supplies.

He also pointed out that several of the Council's services had been privatised such as drainage cleaning, street cleaning and garbage collection "but none of these are satisfactory".

It was also claimed that the MPT had taken stern action to demolish the squatter colonies outside the town area while those within the town area are left untouched.

The Chief Minister said all complaints should be put down in writing to facilitate proper investigations.

Note: Kenneth Goh only serves as a councilor for a year because he was said to be too vocal and stepping on too many people's head. He was dropped by his own party, SAPP. His subsequent struggle to stay in the local political scene also failed.

No comments: