Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Chieh-ju (陳節如) yesterday raised concerns over a fellow lawmaker’s promotion of a draft act on gambling in Matsu, saying that gambling would harm the island in the long term.
Independent Legislator Chen Hsueh-sheng (陳雪生), who represents Matsu, reversed his anti-gambling stance by proposing a draft act governing the managment of the gaming industry on outlying islands, the DPP lawmaker told a press conference.
Chen Hsueh-sheng opposed legalizing the gaming industry before the passage of a local referendum in July last year, which favored construction of a casino resort on Matsu, Chen Chieh-ju said.
Chen Hsueh-sheng said he changed his position to be in line with the mainstream opinion on the islands.
However, the DPP legislator said his colleague’s change of heart and the intention behind Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) insistence on amending the gambling act by the end of this month was suspicious.
It was also questionable whether Weidner Resort Development, the company that won the bid to develop the casino resort, would be able to fulfill its NT$240 billion (US$8.37 billion) investment pledge, the DPP lawmaker said.
Ho Tsung-hsun (何宗勳), executive director of the Alliance Against the Legalization of Gambling, urged Matsu residents to continue to weigh the economic gains the gambling business could bring against the potential social problems it could create.