Anwar slams those who accused him of approving Forest City casino licence

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today slammed those who accused him of approving a casino licence for Forest City, Johor.

He said he had never heard of any proposal to build a casino in Johor.

“His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, King of Malaysia, has never mentioned to me any interest in allowing gambling there.

“So where did this (rumour) come from? From villains. They should take over my room at Sungai Buloh (Prison).

“If you condemn, what more slander the royals, the answer is prosecution, punishment and imprisonment.

“Don’t get angry at me. People say Anwar is undemocratic, that I am tough, or have an iron fist, but the country has a constitutional monarchy system, and this is the way,” he said.

He had last week denied reports that the government was mulling a casino licence to revive Forest City.

This was following a Bloomberg report that claimed Malaysia was in early discussions with tycoons on opening a casino in Forest City to revive the RM478 billion property project.

Quoting sources, it said Anwar had met Berjaya Corp founder Tan Sri Vincent Tan and Genting Group’s Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay about the development.

It was reported that Berjaya Corp had filed police reports regarding articles on its involvement in casino talks in Forest City, citing malicious intent aimed at causing political upheaval.

BCorp’s legal representative filed police reports on April 26.

Genting Malaysia also refuted these claims, saying that neither the company nor its deputy chairman and chief executive officer Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay was involved in any such discussions or meetings.

Yesterday, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia information committee member Badrul Hisham Shaharin was charged at the Sessions Court in Johor Baru for publishing seditious material on the purported casino project on Friday.

Anwar appeared to have backed police action against parties behind the casino allegations today, saying it was the only way the King, Sultan Ibrahim of Johor, could defend himself.

“If you attack me as prime minister it’s okay because I can defend myself and I have the platform to do so. But the King cannot, he’s not a politician who can just say whatever he wants,” the prime minister said.