20 July 2010

Row over dual mahjong licence


ALOR SETAR: The Kedah MCA Youth has questioned the state’s move to make Chinese associations pay for two licences for mahjong – one from the Kota Setar district and another from Alor Setar City Council.

Its chief Ong Soon Boon said the associations, which have paid for one licence for mahjong activities to the district office, were surprised when they were asked to pay the city council for another licence.

He said several associations had complained to him over the new ruling which was announced via a letter dated July 7.

“The associations were instructed to apply for the licence before Sept 7. I am questioning why the associations have to pay for two licences for mahjong activities,” he said yesterday.

He said that the association paid between RM200 and RM300 yearly for the licence from the Kota Setar district office but the city council was asking for between RM600 and RM1,000 a year for another licence.

MCA National Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong in his speech during the state MCA Youth annual general meeting on Friday night expressed his surprise over the state government’s ruling.

He questioned why the state was burdening Kedahans with two licences for mahjong activities.

Kedah Chinese Assembly Hall chairman Cheng Lai Hock said he had arranged for a special meeting between the Chinese associations and the city council to discuss the matter.

He said that it was better for the associations to get a clearer picture from the city council so that the matter could be solved amicably.

“I have received three complaints from Chinese associations,” he said.

Alor Setar Mayor Datuk Khazali Din said the payment to the city council was for the premises used by the associations to conduct mahjong activities.

“The ruling is in accordance with the local government regulation. It is true that the associations paid for the licence to conduct mahjong activities but they also need to pay for the licence for the premises where the activities are conducted.

“Previously, we did not take action against those who failed to pay for this licence but we are enforcing it now,” he said.

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