OVER 3,000 Malaysians, including housewives, cross over to Singapore everyday to gamble at the two casinos there, reported China Press in its front-page exclusive.
The daily said travel agents wooed Malaysians by offering them free transport and meal coupons.
It said some agents only charged RM25 per person, including a day tour of the republic with freebies thrown in.
However, customers joining the trip must buy at least S$100 (RM240) worth of gambling chips through the travel agency’s employees upon arriving at the casinos.
It is learnt that most of the customers were middle-aged and would visit the casinos three or four times a week, placing bets up to S$1,000 (RM2,400) each time.
Some frequent customers told the daily that they found the package attractive besides getting a thrill from gambling.
“Of course, it is terrible when we lose money since it is in Singapore currency. But when we win, the money will also be doubled when converted to ringgit.
“Even if we were to win only S$20 to S$30, it is considered pocket money, especially for pensioners. It is definitely better than going to work,” reported the daily.
The republic’s two multi-billion dollar casinos – Resorts World and Las Vegas’ Marina Bay Sands – began operating earlier this year.
> Nanyang Siang Pau reported that foodstuff from China were expected to go up by between 40% and 60% this Chinese New Year.
Among these goods were red dates, mandarin oranges, sugarcane, mushrooms, scallops, pistachios and canned food.
The daily said the increase was due to the rise in the costs of labour and the numerous incidents of natural disaster in China this year.
Malaysia Foodstuff Import and Export Association president Datuk Chuah Poh Khiong said the price for pistachios was higher by about 60%, between 30% and 40% for scallops, 30% for mushrooms and about 20% for red dates.
“The price of mandarin oranges will also increase by between 40% and 50% per box due to supply in China falling by half,” he said.
Other News & Views is compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with this > sign, it denotes a separate news item.