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Former Indonesian President Suggests Casino

11 May 2006

INDONESIA – As reported by the Jakarta Post: "Former president Habibie has suggested the government consider opening a casino on Batam to draw visitors to the island.

"He made the suggestion Tuesday during a gathering on Batam of local figures and representatives of the Riau Island provincial administration.

"Habibie, who is also a former chairman of the Association of Indonesian Muslim Scholars, urged ulema and the Batam city administration and legislative council to study the possibility.

"…The former president recalled that in 1977 he made a verbal promise to then Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew not to open a casino on Batam, which is located near the city-state. He said the logic behind this agreement was to avoid any negative associations with Batam, which at the time was being transformed into an industrial estate…"

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