Meet Paul Phua, Malaysia’s “God of Gamblers” 

Who is Paul Phua? I’m not familiar with him

How much money are you willing to risk on a single hand in a game of Black Jack or Chor Dai Di? Numbers with only one figure two? Paul Phua, on the other hand, is not your typical Genting uncle who gambles on slot machines; rather, he is a high-roller gambler, which means that his bets can reach five or six figures. As a point of reference, winning just one game has the potential to earn you enough money to buy either a house or a car, or even both. Please, only one game, not ten. 

What about him, you might ask? Why is his name being mentioned in so many different newspapers? What does he have to do with Dato’ Seri Zahid Hamidi, the Home Affairs Minister? What is it about this news that has prompted leaders from the PKR, DAP, PAS, and even Perkasa to express their concerns (and when was the last time those four were mentioned in the same sentence?) Perkasa, you are aware! 

1. Paul Phua and his son were both arrested for their roles in an unlicensed gambling operation in Las Vegas

The FBI is investigating allegations that he sent illegal wagering information and ran an illegal gambling operation in Las Vegas during the recent FIFA World Cup. The investigation is currently underway in response to these allegations. Furthermore, he has long been suspected of being a high-ranking official of the 14K, the world’s second-largest triad; as a result, the FBI considers his capture to be even more significant than it would have been otherwise. If you haven’t already heard about it, you can get a rundown of the entire gambling case by clicking here, where you’ll find five key points. 

Out of the eight people arrested in connection with the gambling operation, Phua and his son are the only ones who will face trial. The other five people have all pleaded guilty to transmitting illegal wagering information, and the eighth person’s charges have been dropped. His justification? The FBI made critical errors that led to the suspect’s arrest. According to reports, the FBI skipped a step in the evidence-gathering process (they allegedly pretended to be cable guys to enter Phua’s apartment to gather evidence for a warrant, even though protocol requires obtaining a warrant before being permitted to search a location for evidence). 

As a result, proving Phua’s misconduct will be extremely difficult because there was also malfeasance on the part of the FBI, which will serve as the foundation for Phua and his son’s defense. 

Lawyers have also stated in more recent filings that the government claimed Paul Phua and another defendant, Richard Yong, were members of the 14K Triad, one of the world’s largest criminal organizations, despite a lack of evidence to support that claim. The government leveled this charge against Paul Phua and Richard Yong. The “flimsy” evidence they did have, however, was used to persuade a federal judge to authorize the raid that resulted in their arrest. They were apprehended as a result of this. 

And, despite the fact thateven though he is Malaysian, all of this has been taking place in the United States, which would not be cause for concern in Malaysia. 

2. The Minister of the Interior sends a letter to the FBI indicating that Paul Phua helps to secure the country

The fact that something like this occurred is the primary reason for the story’s popularity in Malaysia. Malaysia’s Home Minister, Dato’ Seri Zahid Hamidi, wrote to Mark Giuliano, the deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (also known as the FBI) in the United States, to inform him that Paul Phua is NOT a member of the 14K triad. The FBI delivered the letter. While we’re talking about it… 

Mr. Phua has assisted the Malaysian government on several occasions with projects affecting our national security. As a result, we continue to call on him for assistance from time to time, and we are eager for him to return to Malaysia. Dato’ Seri Zahid Hamidi is a Malaysian politician. 

The fact that the Home Minister’s claim directly contradicted a previous report by the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) in 2008, which revealed that Paul Phua was in fact member of the triad, has sparked outrage. Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, a UMNO lawyer, later stated that Dato’ Seri Zahid Hamidi was not vouching for Paul Phua and that the letter to the FBI was to clarify that the PDRM made an error. Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is a United Malays National Organization member (UMNO). 

The situation is as follows: there is a man traveling man is traveling with the criminals, but the women have vouched for him, implying that he may be on the good side. Now that he’s been apprehended, the gomen must go rescue him. That unmistakably sounds like the plot of a James Bond film; all that’s missing now are some exciting action sequences. Eva Green, too. 

In all seriousness, doesn’t this seem to raise a few questions? We don’t care who it is, but if someone is arrested by the FBI and then our government claims he’s actually aiding national security and thus should be released, you can’t blame people for being curious about who he is, can you? As a result, we began to wonder about it. 

3. Despite his origins in Sarawak, Malaysia, he makes a living as a gambler in Macau

Although we were unable to find anything specifically about his Sarawak background, we were able to find several news articles indicating it, such as those found here, here, and here. On the other hand, you’re unlikely to run into him in Malaysia because he lives in Macau, a city well-known for its gambling culture. That is not surprising. 

How well-known is he in that part of the world? This particular individual is said to be a gambling legend who has made millions of dollars in that industry. He is also well-known in Macau’s gambling circles, and he frequently participates in high-stakes games there, either as an organizer or as a player. Furthermore, he is well-known in Macau’s gambling circles. 

This article includes coverage of one of the competitions in which he won. Consider how much money you won in the end. Oh, the Pound Sterling isn’t even close to the US Dollar or the Euro. That is not something you will see at every Chinese New Year celebration. 

To this point, it appears that a man from Malaysia is simply incredibly talented at what he does and has moved on to greener pastures but wait, it gets a lot more interesting from here on out. 

4. He served as San Marino’s Ambassador to Montenegro for three years

When we were researching this topic, one of the things we discovered that we found extremely interesting was the fact that, in addition to everything else he’s done, he’s also worked as an ambassador. However, you should be aware that he was not the Malaysian ambassador; rather, he was the San Marino ambassador to Montenegro (he has a diplomatic passport from San Marino). You’ve heard of San Marino. When it comes to football, that country that consistently loses 8-0 to England or France. If you are a football fan, you have probably heard of this country at least once. 

According to reports, he was appointed as a non-resident ambassador to Montenegro on February 1, 2011. This implies that he is the ambassador to a country, but that he does not necessarily live in that country. However, we at CILISOS were unable to discover how or why San Marino appointed him as an ambassador; therefore, if you have any information on this subject, please let us know. 

5. He is so difficult to locate that even the former Chief of Police is unaware of his existence

Even if he is the god of gamblers in Malaysia, he is extremely difficult to find, so he is unlikely to exist. Maybe a little too evasive. Tan Sri Musa Bin Tan Sri Hj. Hassan, a former Inspector General of Police (IGP), has claimed that he is unaware of the individual in question. If your name appeared in a report published while he was still the country’s top cop, you did a good job of keeping it hidden from him, especially if the report was published while he was still the top cop (Tan Sri Musa Hassan served as IGP from 2006-2010, the report came out in 2008). In case you were wondering, here is what our current Inspector General of Police had to say about the situation: There’s also not a lot of help there. 

6. The Paul Phua case is a rallying cry for accountability

To be honest, the Paul Phua scandal is less about who Paul Phua is and more about the importance of holding our leaders accountable for the actions they take in positions of authority. You can tell that this is a big deal for the country when not only opposition leaders are looking for answers, but also Perkasa (check out this link if you’re still not convinced we’re telling the truth)! The Home Minister’s secrecy, combined with contradictory statements made by various members of the government on the same subject, was largely responsible for the story’s initial explosion. 

It’s a big deal, for sure, because we need to know that the government isn’t messing around with national security and that they won’t just keep quiet and wait for us to forget about it. We must be assured that they will not simply wait until we have moved on and forgotten about it (as we so often have). So, yeah, we’ll just keep asking, and asking, and hoping that one day we won’t have to ask because they’ll just tell us without us having to prompt them! …. 

The FBI’s evidence against Paul Phua’s illegal betting ring was thrown out by a judge in the United States because the FBI failed to consider Paul Phua’s constitutional rights while gathering the evidence. That is, they did not have a warrant when they broke into Paul Phua’s hotel room and pretended to be repairmen to gain access (they shut off his internet connection). Following this, the US judge ordered the US woman to return her husband’s passport and private jet. 

Where do I even start? He is released not because he was able to prove his innocence, but because the judge informed the FBI that they had made a mistake. They return his passport, and he boards his chartered private plane.