NUSAJAYA - Johor is against the setting up of a casino in the state and it will not approve the project, said Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
He said he did not know where and how the news on the casino project, to be located in a sea-fronting hotel in Johor Baru, had surfaced and described the reports as "mischievous".
Mohamed Khaled said the reports on the project by certain online news portals recently were false as there were no other issues in Johor.
He said the issuing of the operating license for the casino comes under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government and not the state government.
"But I would like to reiterate here and assure Johoreans that Johor will not have a casino. We also do not approve other types of gambling centres," Mohamed Khaled said.
He said this to reporters yesterday after attending the "Back to School" programme for 200 primary school pupils from poor families, organised by Iskandar Investment Bhd at a hypermarket here.
"We did not receive any application, proposal or plans on the (casino) project," he said, adding that even if the project received approval from the Federal Government, Johor would oppose it.
He said the public should not assume that when a particular public-listed company decided to invest in Johor, it would open a casino even though the company had a gambling business under its stable.
On a separate note, Mohamed Khaled said that Iskandar Malaysia would continue to attract strong interest from domestic and foreign investors this year.
"We will be selective when it comes to investments for Iskandar and only go for those which could create economic spills-over to Johor," he said.