The former PH government had reduced the number of annual special draws from 22 to 11 in 2019, and to eight in 2020.
A PAS veteran questioned the role of PAS leaders in the Cabinet after the number of “special draws” for 4-digit (4D) lottery operators was increased from eight times in 2020 to 22 times this year.
Speaking to FMT, Mahfodz Mohamed insisted that PAS ministers should not abandon the principle of upholding Islamic teachings just because they were now part of the government.
“I am not happy with the government’s decision (to increase 4D draws). Although the current government is Malay-Muslim, these draws should be reduced, not increased.
“Knowing what’s ‘halal’ and ‘haram’, PAS ministers must voice out (their opposition) as they are now part of the government.
“Just because we are a minority in the government, it does not mean we can’t voice out.”
Mahfodz also questioned whether the applications by the various lottery operators were brought to the Cabinet first for evaluation, as it concerned public interest, including that of Muslims, on the issue of gambling.
“With the increase in the number of 4D draws, it will encourage people to commit sins, especially Malay Muslims in rural areas, and this worries the Muslim majority.
“The government must remember that Islamic governments do not want the profits of the world alone but the profits of the hereafter,” he said.
Last Monday, Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar questioned PAS over its stance on the issue of 4D “special draws” being increased from eight times to 22 times a year.
Finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, in a written answer to Mahfuz in the Dewan Rakyat had confirmed the matter.
However, Perak PAS commissioner Razman Zakaria urged all PAS members not to be swayed by criticism from various parties regarding the approval.
He said he believed that PAS leaders had no say on the matter despite being in the Cabinet.
The former Pakatan Harapan (PH) government had reduced the number of annual special draws from 22 to 11 in 2019, and to eight in 2020.
These “special draws”, which were first introduced in 1999 to raise funds for Nipah virus victims, are over and above the three “normal” draws every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.