MALACCA - The Malacca Chief Minister's office has empowered Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) to cut off electricity supply to illegal cybercafes.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron said an authorisation letter to that effect had been handed over to state TNB general manager Datuk Baderul Sham Saad.
The letter, he said, authorised TNB to discontinue power supply to any premises known to be hosting illicit online gambling facilities.
"The letter was issued based on our existing by-laws and we will subsequently release similar documents to other utility companies in the state," he said after meeting officials from TNB headquarters and the state at his office here yesterday.
Idris said he had told TNB officers to execute their task without fear and that he was willing to take the responsibility if the property owners take the matter to the court.
"This is my war against illegal cybercafes and I am prepared to take the responsibility if there are any legal suits.
"The existence of such outlets has contributed to the increase in crime cases, while many families are also suffering from financial problems because the breadwinners are hooked on gambling," he added.
Idris said the illegal cybercafe menace had also led to social ills and gambling addiction among youth.
"We are serious in wanting to close down all such cybercafes here," he said.
Idris said he was also willing to take action against any of his officers including his aides and local government officers if there was any evidence that they were protecting such outlets for monetary returns.
"I will not tolerate any attempts by any state government officials to protect such outlets and alerting the operators on planned raids," he said.
Baderul said TNB had disconnected electricity supply to five outlets in the historic city as soon as the authorisation letter was issued yesterday.
"This is the start. We will act on each public tip-off and disconnect power at these illegal outlets, immediately," he added.