KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — Residents of Taman Shamelin Perkasa were shocked that snooker, karaoke and dart clubs in the neighbourhood were actually electronic gaming outlets.
Low Wai Mun, 82, a trader, said he would have never guessed that the fancy-looking centres were a front for illegal gambling activities.
“The people who come here are usually well-dressed and do not seem like the gambling kind. It is shocking to know such activities are held in these places,” he said.
He said more people have been visiting the outlets now compared to when it first opened five years ago.
“There are so many people who go in and out of the places these days,” he said.
“I always go to the Chinese restaurant next to the snooker club at night and have noticed the place becoming noisy about midnight.”
Student Nur Seraya Khamsiah, 18, said she was unaware that there were electronic gambling machines inside the snooker and karaoke clubs.
“The people who frequent the area look like gangsters. It never crossed my mind that we have a mini ‘Genting’ in our neighbourhood,” she said.
Nur Seraya said it was a relief to know that these illegal gambling outlets had been raided.
“I am glad the authorities raided these outlets. The crowd at these places seems intimidating which is why I think twice before going out at night,” she said.
Public relations executive Maya Rishkinathan, 29, said the neighbourhood was chaotic during the weekends.
“There are many cars parked by the roadside and it causes inconvenience for other motorists. I usually stay over at my grandparents house during the weekends because I can hear the commotion which goes on in front of the club from my house,” she said.
She said the closure of these clubs would bring some peace to the residents.
“My friends told me there were gambling outlets near my house but I did not think much of it as I assumed it was a regular karaoke club,” she said, adding there were bodyguards who always checked visitors thoroughly before they entered.