No end to wacky Wah Hui lottery
Fri, Feb 27, 2009
New Straits Times

KOTA KINABALU, MALAYSIA: It's an illegal lottery game that has been around for years in Sabah and many do not see an end to it.

Wah Hui is played across the state and, based on raids conducted by the authorities, its operations are concentrated in small communities or public areas.

Bets are placed on pictures that represent a combination of numbers.

A winning bet worth RM1 pays between RM10 and RM50 and draws are made up to five times a day.

What sets the game apart are riddles that are provided by the bookies who claim the winning numbers are made clear in the answers.

Keningau district police chief Deputy Superintendent Zahari Mohamed said it could only be stopped if the main organiser was nabbed.

"Otherwise, it's more like a cat-and-mouse game because their 'agents' are found all over," he said, noting that they normally targeted the lower income group.

"The Wah Hui runners are normally found in market areas, villages, bus terminals or certain streets where crowds gather regularly.

"It may look small but combine the operations all over, and it's big."

Liawan assemblyman Datuk Sairin Karno believes apart from arresting the operators, punters, too, should be taught a lesson.

"The Native court could punish punters for neglecting their responsibilities to their families by taking part in gambling activities," said Sairin, who is also assistant rural development minister.

Seminars or talks by the authorities about the game or even other illegal gambling activities such as illegal 4-digit operations should also be organised, he said.

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