dominoes n (permainan) domino. lottery loteri dice n dadu; Kiya. Playing cards. Lintrik (jav). Playing cards. Binteh. Name of a game. Botoh (jAv). To gamble ; a gamester. Buwah-chatur. The pieces at the game of chess. Buwah-chuki. The pieces at the game of draughts. Buwah-jugar. The pieces at the game called jugar. Buwah-pari. Dice. Chatur (s). The game of chess. Chongkak. Name of a game, a kind of draughts. Chuke. Name of a game resembling draughts ; v. Juki. Jogar. Name of a game resembling draughts ; v. Jugar. Jugar. Name of a game resembling draughts ; v. Jogar. Juki. Name of a game resembling draughts ; v. Chuke. Kamiii (j). Name of a tree, bearing a hard nut, and used in playing a game of chance, Aleurites moluccana. Kaplek (jav). A kind of game with dice, played by the Javanese. Kechek (jav). Name of a game of chance; Kuchi. Name of a game of chance ; v. Keche. Mayin. To play, to sport, to frolic; to play, to toy ; to dally amorously ; to game, to gamble; play, sport, amusement; toying, dalliance, caressing ; artifice, contrivance ; gaming, gambling, play. Pasang. Name of a game resembling draughts. Panjudi (judi). A player; a gamester; a gambler. Parmayinan (mayin). Play, sport, game, amusement; plaything, toy; play, gaming, gambling ; game, feat, exercise. Patopan (bat). A gambler ; gambling. Gamble (to). Jud'i, manjud'i, barjud-i, mayin, bilrmayin, bartaruh, bataruh, botok. Gambler. Panjud'i. Gambling. Jud-i, mayin, parmayinan. Play, to game. Jud'i, barjud'i, mayin, baruiayin, bartaruh, bataruh.
Hua Hoey. — The name of a lottery extensively patronized in the Straits Settlements, It is indulged in by Chinese, Malays, and Kliogs. The following account of it is condensed from Mr. C. W. S, KYNNEESLEY's eshaustive paper on the subject in No. XVI. (1885) of the J. S. B. E. A. S,. p. 203 :—
Hua Hoey, or the thirty-six animals lottery, is extensively played in the Straits Settlements. Burma, Siam, and wherever the Chinese settle. From a small book " On the Interpretation of Dreams, with Illustrations of Hua Hoey," we learn that the game was invented in the time of the second Han dynasty. In this book there is a short sketch of the lives of the thirty-six mythical personages (who had previously existed as animals), and directions are given as to staking.
The lottery ia thus conducted in the Straits: — A person wishing to open it, issues a notice that on a certain date he will open Hua Hoey under a certain chop, and that he will be responaible to all winners who stake up to such and such an amount either with him or his agents.
These agents go round, and, according to agreement, are allowed to receive stakes up to a certain limit, say $2, but on their own account they may receive larger stakes. They carry what are usually termed hongs, i.e., papers on which the stakes are entered. In case the staker is well known to the agent, no acknowledgment is given, but the staker may receive a ticket or scrap of paper, or else he writes down on a slip of paper, which he hands to the agent, the names of the animals be wishes to stake on and the amount.
The following is a list of the animals staked on : — White fish, shell or dragon, white goose, peacock, lion or earthworm, rabbit or tortoise, pig, tiger, buffalo, alligator or dragon, white dog, white horse, elephant, white cat or dog, mouse, wasp or bee, stork, cat, monkey, frog, sea-hawk, dragon, tortoise or duck, cock, eel, turtle or carp, lobster, snake, spider, sheep or deer, goat, ghost or fox, butterfly, stone or cricket, swallow and pigeon, — each of which is the sign of one of the Hua Hoey characters. The marks (which have a conventional meaning) and figures represent the amount, either cents or dollars, staked on each animal, and the last coliumn is the total of stakes received. A person wishing to stake a large amount, say $5 or $10, on an animal will sometimes write the name on a piece of paper and seal it up, delivering it with the stake to the manager of the Hua Hoey or au agent.
The lottery is opened twice a day, usually at noon and 6 p.h., and at the appointed hour the winning number (animal) is exhibited, and the result declared in the streets. Previously to this, the agents have brought in their staking papers. If the lottery is worked fairly, of course the manager who declares the winning number should be ignorant as to the amounts staked on the differeot animals. In China, the papers on which the stakes are entered are folded up in a packet and are not inspected till the winner has been declared, when the winning tickets are diopped and the owners of them are paid.
In the Straits these lotteries are alleged to be not fairly worked, and the animal least favoured by the public is often the winner. Stakers receive thirty times their stake, less a small commission paid to the agent, from him they receive their winnings, and this leaves a good margin of profit for the bank. A manager, for the sake of gain, or out of spite, has been known to stake by deputy a large amount with one of his agents on the animal which he means to declare the winner. The agent is " broke," and those who have staked on the winning animal are defrauded of their gains. This is only one of the many ways of swindling practised in regard to these lotteries in the Straits.
It must not be supposed that it is only the Chinese who gamble at Hua Hoey, The wealthy Babas, born in the Straits, the respectable traders, their wives and daughters, the petty shopkeeper and the coolie who works by the day, Klings and Malays, women and children, all alike are unable to resist the temptation to gamble. The Hua Hoey lottery is drawn twice a day in different parts of the town, and the excitement is ever fresh. An outlay of ten cents, which is within the means of any coolie, may bring in $3.
Women are largely employed in the Hua Hoey business, while their husbands are at the shop or failing (as they appear to be very often). They spend their time in collecting stakes and staking themselves. They have diamonds and gold ornaments in profusion, and while any of these remain, they can gamble to their heart's content. Those lower in the social scale, unblessed with diamonds or ready money, beg, borrow, or steal in order that they may gamble.
Dreams play a great part in Hua Hoey, and the confirmed Hua Hoey player gets to think of nothing else but the chance of his winning on the morrow. According to his dreams, he stakes.
It ia no exaggeration to say that Hua Hoey gambling corrupts and brings to ruin thousands of people — men. women and children — but how to check it and minimize the evil is a very difficult question.
The common gaming houses in town are defended by strong iron-barred doors, have ladders, trap-doorg and escapes, and are always ready for a raid by the Police. Premises have to be hired and fitted up for the purpose, and there is a certain amount of risk in the undertaking, but a Hua Hoey lottery can be opened anywhere — in a shop, a private house, or a kampong. The result is not often declared at the same place. All kinds of artifices are practised when the winning number is exhibited in order to escape detection by the Police. Sometimes the character is marked on a piece of yam or sweet potato and swallowed if the Police appear ; or it is written on the palm of the hand or on the sand and quickly rubbed out. Instead of the well-known Hua Hoey characters, the numbers corresponding with them on the lottery papers are now frequently used. A still later innovation is to use nails, match-boxes, &c., to signify the characters staked on, and it is extremely difficult for the Police to procure satisfactory evidence against the principals engaged in the business.
The agents, with their lottery paper, pencil and stakes collected, are sometimes arrested and fined, but it has been held by a learned Judge that the possession of these " tickets," as they are called, is no offence.
The more respectable Chinese are fully alive to the widespread mischief caused by these Hua Hoey lotteries, and a memorial was recently addressed to the Legislative Council by certain Chinese inhabitants of Penang praying that most stringent measures should be adopted for their suppression.
The "Ultima Thule" of a Planter's Hopes
When I was asked by the energetic President of the Royal Agricultural and Commercial Society to read a Paper on the Straits Settlements and the Malay States as I knew them, I experienced a doubt as to whether auch a subject would appeal to the members. I also doubted my ability, even if the subject was of interest, to place sufficient material before you to constitute a paper. Looking back to the happy years I spent in what is known at the Far East, recollections crowded themselves in my memory, and though many years have passed, the life of that period was so ineffaceably impressed that no length of time will ever dim the interest I then took and still take in the land of the Malay. To you my only apology for venturing on such a subject is because of recent years the word " Penang " has become very familiar in this colony. It means, as it appears to me, almost the ultima thule of a planter's hopes. When a man who is absent is inquired for, more often that not, one is told "Oh he has giot a grand appointment in Penang". The words as uttered might mean "Lucky fellow, he has gone to a place where there is a prospect for the future as well as reward in the present. " Be that as it may the Malay Peninsula has become a household world and a terra incognita is unknown no more. Penang is taken to represent the whole of the Malay States, erroneously of course, for Prince of Wales Island , as it is otherwise called , is only one of»the Straits Settlements and not the principal one which is Singapore. But owing to its northerly position and iti proximity to Perak from whence all roads diverge, it has increased in importance now that rubber-growing has assumed such large proportions. Similarities. When I first arrived in the colony of British Guiana 28 years ago, it struck me that the three counties of Demerara, Berbice and Essequebo were very like the three Settlements of Singapore, Malacca and Penang in many ways, more especially in their histories with reference to their past and present prosperity. As in the Straits Malacca was the first, so here was Berbice. Each in its turn was supplanted by a newer and more vigorous competitor, due in a great measure to position. As Demerara wrested from Berbice its place as the seat of Government so Singapore supplanted Malacca and Penang. Malacca has only its past glories to its credit including the work of St. Francis Xavier. Penang is steadily gaining much of the ground it hao lost at the present day and Berbice, although it remains very much in statuo quo. is also progressing again. The resemblance at the time I speak of was very striking
Gambling was, of course, rampant notwithstanding the greatest vigilance and the police had their work cut out to check it. Dens existed all over the place, bribery was in full swing and as all classes joined in hoodwinking the authorities the task of suppression was a difficult one. The larger gambling dens were veritable fortresses. The games were usually carried on in an upper-storey access to which was through a heavy trap-door carefully guarded which was let down on the heads of the police as they scrambled up the ladder leading to the room, the gamblers escaping over the roofs. Many an exciting chase resulted. Broken heads and limbs were not at all infrequent but the merry game went on. Wah Way as it was called — the Cheefa of this colony — was popular with the masses. The proprietors of this lottery had their agents in all districts. These men daily sold tickets and on the declaration of the winning object, turtle, tiger or whatever it was, went through their districts and exhibited the palm of one hand on which was painted the representation of the winning object. Tickets were redeemed at fixed places. The paint or colour used was a harmless dye, very soluble and if a policeman approached the agent that individual by the simple process of licking his palm eliminated all traces and there was no proof.
The larger gambling houses indulged in Che-poh. In this a brass cube was used which enclosed another in the apex of which was a die. A cloth was-: spread on a table. This cloth had various sigrs on it marked off in divisions by which wins were calculated. The croupier put in the die after the money was staked on the cloth, then fitted the outer cube over the inner one, gave the thing a turn or two, placed it in a bag which was laid on the cloth ; another turn was given, the bag taken off nd then the outer cube was lifted up revealing the die — the position of which decided the winners. All this appeared fair and absolutely above board. In many, perhaps in most cases, it was so but even here things were often arranged. When this was so, the inner cube had a shifting bottom under the die. This shifting bottom was acted on by a small delicate spiral spring worked by a minute needle point at the side of the cube. The croupier when he put in the die noticed the stakes and if the position of the die, which by constant practice he knew, would result in a heavy !osb, the needle was touched when the upper cube was being removed, the die turned and the Bank won.
A Simple Method of Gambling.
Fan-tan, of course, also had a show. But the simplest method of gambling I ever came across was in Province Wellesley. For some time it was known the gambling was carried on in a certain village. Where or how could at first not be discovered. There were no gambling houses, of that we were sure. Eventually the secret was known. A Chinese pork butcher had a shop in which were exposed joints of pork for sale. A customer went up and asked for half a pound paying not the market price, but twice or three times as much. A knife was handed to him and he was asked to cut off any part he liked - to please himself in his selection. The customer took the knife and carefully cut off what he considered was half a pound of meat. This was weighed if it was exactly the weigh he got the arranged stakes : if it was not accurate he had paid the enhanced price for his meat. You will recognise the simplicity of the proceedings and the difficulty of detection.
In all villages of sufficient size there are public gambling houses where Chinese miners congregate and play. These gambling houses are under the control of the "farmer," the representative of a syndicate, who, in consideration of a fixed payment, is granted by the Government the exclusive privilege of erecting gambling houses and permitting play within them, as well as in any other houses for which he may grant permission for short periods. This system is simply a relic of former times, before the era of British protection, when every means of increasing the revenue was greedily seized upon, and would ere now have been discontinued, with other debasing practices, were it not for the large sum accruing to the Government from the sale of this monopoly.
These gambling dens have a most pernicious and demoralizing influence ; they openly entice the passer-by to try his luck, and allure the weak-minded to their ruin, as well as being the fruitful source of much misery and crime. Within are to be seen little tables placed about the room ; a croupier is in attendance at each, around which, of an evening, stand groups of excited Chinese, anxiously watching the result of the spin, or waiting in eager expectancy to hear what number is called, which will settle the fate of the stakes they have deposited. As the croupier pays his losses and rakes in his winnings there is a hum of conversation and much animated gesticulation, succeeded by a breathless, earnest silence as the gamblers once more crowd around the different tables, those behind pressing forwards, and, as it were, striving by their very wishes and the ardent intensity of their hopes to induce the number they long for to turn up ; and their haggard, dubious faces betray the eagerness of the emotions they are striving to subdue. As the groups grow larger the heat becomes intense, and the odour from so many panting, perspiring, and unsavoury human beings, closely crowded together in so warm an atmosphere and confined a space, becomes intolerable, and the stench sickening. The large amount obtained by the Government is only a portion of the monies taken from these ignorant and uneducated miners, and the continuance of this injurious and debasing system, and the direct encouragement of this vice, is most discreditable to British administration.
There formerly existed a system of gambling, prevalent in the colony as well as in the native states, called Hua-Hoey, which was really a lottery, the tickets representing thirty-six different kinds of animals, and all stakes on the winning beast received thirty times the wagered sum. As coloured pictures were all the stock-in-trade requisite, this species of gambling afforded the unscrupulous an easy means of defrauding and swindling the credulous. Trickery and cheating took place at the drawings, so that the animal upon which there were fewest tickets was frequently made to win. Although the traffic was illegal, the difficulties of detection were great, and in 1885 the evils arising from the increasing numbers of sharpers in Penang became so disastrous and far-reaching, that a numerously signed petition was forwarded to the Government, drawing attention to the pernicious trade, and requesting that stringent measures be taken for its suppression, as its dissemination amongst all classes was creating much misery and unhappiness, besides ruining many. Not only did clerks rob their employers, and coolies steal the goods entrusted to their care, to enable them to place a stake upon an animal they fancied, but women also acted as the agents of the promoters of these lotteries, and going about persuaded others of their sex to gamble, edging them on by spurious lotteries and a little success at first to venture larger sums, the loss of which caused them to sell and pawn their jewellery, to deceive and to be dishonest.
... the victim, who was so badly beaten that he died in hospital without recovering consciouness. In an attempt to break Triad power in Klang the police arrested many members of Cells 4, 12, and 21, and the drive continued to Port Swettenham where further members of these cells were arrested. Of all these, twelve were banished, and most of the others were put on restricted residence for periods of from one to fifteen years. Two of those arrested were required to enter into bonds with sureties of $1000 for one year.
Meantime, once the way was cleared by the cessation of the MCA lottery, the police in Kuala Lumpur turned their attention to the promoters of the Chee Fah lottery. In June (1953) they arrested the five principal members including the Chee Fah 'King', his two brothers, a cousin, and a fifth who was unrelated but who held high Wa Kei rank at Hot Springs, Setapak, and was heavily involved in several gambling promotions in Kuala Lumpur town. The cousin, who already had three previous convictions for opium offences, was banished to China, and the others were restricted for life to residence in Kuala Kubu, forty miles from Kuala Lumpur, although these sentences were modified in 1955 to exclusion from Selangor. Many of the smaller Chee Fah operators fled. Others volunteered information which enabled the police to form a clear picture of the multitudinous ramifications of the lottery, the use of cover organizations, club gambling, and corruption. During the investigations one police officer was offered $3,000 monthly if he would turn a blind eye, and it was suggested to another senior police officer that if the lottery were permitted to continue for a further four months during which time the promoters hoped to make a final $100000 profit, he would benefit to the extent of $30000 or $40000. The offer was accompanied by a promise that at the end of the four months the promoters would finally 'retire', but the offers were refused.
The arrests of the Chee Fah syndicate caused grave anxiety in Wa Kei ranks, particularly among those who were also promoting Fan Tan and Pai Kow gambling. An early raid in Pudu in June caused a notorious Fan Tan centre to close, and its promoter, a high-ranking Wa Kei official who had been distributing heavy bribes to the local police, went into hiding. He was arrested early in 1954 and put under restricted residence. Another Wa Kei associate of similar rank, who had been operating Pai Kow gambling in Pudu under cover of a club in the area, and who was a leader of the Thirteen Princes who had terrorized the district during the operation of the Chee Fah lottery He eventually returned to Kuala Lumpur and opened an opium saloon, but was arrested and in December was excluded from the district for ten years. These two arrests, with several others of lesser importance, checked for a time the Fan Tan and Pai Kow gambling activities in the Pudu area. In a different category was the arrest in early November (1953) of the self-styled Wa Kei 'King', Cheah Siew, alias Kor Hor Chut, already noticed as being connected with the postwar revival of the Wa Kei in Selangor, Pahang, and Johore, and whose energy and personality had enabled him to play an important role in Selangor Wa Key organization from time to time. He maintained that * Fan Tan : stakes laid on a number of counters left (1,2,3 or 0) after counting out from a random pile four at a time. Pai Kau : gambling game with domino and dice. p449 Wa Kei Society sided with the Government against Communism, pointing to the success of those Home Guards which were largely Wa Kei as compared with other Home Guards He emphasized that if the Wa Kei organization were disrupted in such areas, the resulting vacuum would be filled by the Communists. This factor had already determined the official policy of selective action against individuals of the Wa Kei society responsible for criminal activities rather than against those responsible for the organization of the society, a policy which remained as a general guide, but, as the police were to discover, it was difficult to apply this selective treatment without disrupting the fabric when it was known that the organization as a whole was invariably supported by the 'protection' of gaming, brothels, opium saloons, and other similar activities. Cheah Siew was excluded from Selangor for fifteen years, and went to Malacca, and in February 1954 the head of the society in Kuala Lumpur, who had held office since 1949, was taken into custody and was excluded from Selangor.
From May 1953 onwards action was taken against clubs which were known to be cover associations for either Wa Kei or Triad activities. By the end of the year six clubs had been closed down in Kuala Lumpur. All were used as gambling resorts, and included the Seng Kong Athletic Assocation, where both Triad and left-wing Chi Tung Tong activities were taking place, and four clubs which were found to be covers for Wa Kei. The power to dissolve undesirable societies was widely used. At the end of 1953 it was reported that throughout the Federation since the Societies Ordinance had come into force in 1949, 188 societies had been closed. Of these, twenty-three were closed because they were used by secret society members, while many of the remainder were used as professional gambling dens. Strong police action continued throughout 1954 and early 1955, and during that period seven Kuala Lumpur clubs were closed for illegal gambling activities. These various measures had the effect of establishing for a time a reasonable degree of public peace, and certain Chi Kung Tong arrests removed the danger of Triad-MCP co-operation from the political arena. But in the criminal field the respite was brief. In March 1955 Chee Fah revived in Kuala Lumpur, operated by remnants of the 1953 organization who had escaped arrest and backed by the Chee Fah 'King', who had been allowed to leave Kuala Kubu on condition that he did not return to Selangor, but who had gone to near-by Seremban in Negri Sembilan, whence he hoped to operate the lottery by telephone. Although he abandoned this scheme and departed to Singapore, and although an important Wa Kei Chee Fah promoter who had eluded the police in 1953 was arrested in Kuala Lumpur in June 1955, Chee Fah continued in the capital, and by July had spread to Klang and Port Swettenham.
Its revival brought new life to the Triad and Wa Kei gangs, for although the main Triad leadership had been dispersed and the Wa Kei organization dislocated, the gangs quickly re-formed. The Kwan Luen had received an access of strength in 1953 when Ang Bin Hoey members left leaderless because of the police arrests, had joined forces with them. The Twenty-one Brothers also revived, and a new gang, the Yee Woh See (Righteous Accord Society), organized in January 1955, with a membership of fifty or sixty youths, became affiliated, operating in Pudu and Loke Yew Road areas of Kuala Lumpur. Three Wa Kei gangs appeared, including not only the Thirteen Princes and the Ten Tigers of Kwangtung (Kong Tung Sap Fu), the latter established in 1952 in the Madras...
|Civet, or musk cat||Tiger|
Chapter 5: Gambling in the Chinese Community in Singapore and Malaya, 1792-1911*
Gambling was a principal vice in the Chinese community in Singapore and Malaya. Although it was prohibited in 1829 in the Straits Settlements,1 it continued to plague the Straits communities throughout the years 1792-1911. In the Malay states, gambling spread widely and flourished without the government's interference. Why were the Chinese so fond of gambling? How did gambling affect the Chinese community? And why did the government of the Straits Settlements fail to suppress gambling ? This article attempts to answer these questions.
The passion of the Chinese in Singapore and Malaya for gambling in the period under study was well-known, and it puzzled some British colonial officials who had direct dealings with the Chinese.
These officials asserted that gambling was a way of life among the Chinese and was something ingrained in the Chinese race.2
Remarks of this kind were misleading and insulting to Chinese people as a whole. Although gambling was found in China, it was not widespread as in overseas Chinese communities.
Traditionally, gambling was condemned as a social evil,3 and children were frequently warned by parents not to indulge in gambling because it would ruin individuals as well as the family.
Customarily, children were allowed to gamble only in the first 15 days of the Chinese New Year under the pretext that gambling was a form of entertainment which added to the excitement of this important Chinese festival.
Writing at the end of the nineteenth p133 century, A.H. Smith claimed that during the New Year period in Chinese villages, all men and women were absorbed in gambling; cards and dominoes were most common.
Although people recognized that gambling was wrong and not to be indulged in, they found the excuse by saying that it was the New Year time and everybody did it, and 'it was only for amusement' and 'there is nothing else to do'. 4
New year excitment seems to have been tolerated. However, this fact cannot be taken as evidence to support the statement that gambling was a national habit of the Chinese. In fact, the overseas Chinese love for gambling had its roots in socio-economic and environmental conditions. The nature of the immigrant community and the overseas environment developed the passion of the overseas Chinese for gambling.
The main features of the immigrant community such as a predominant male population, a sojourner's mentality and job insecurity combined to give rise to frustration, misery and psychological instability. This conditioned Chinese immigrants to take up gambling.
At the same time most immigrants were young when they first arrived in Singapore and Malaya, and because of the absence of parental control or social pressure, they tended to indulge in the vice.
One important psychological aspect of the Chinese immigrants which deservers our attention is their desire for quick money. Many Chinese coolie immigrants in the nineteenth century were led by coolie brokers to believe that there was quick money to be made overseas, and that, with few years' hard work, they could return to China with a lot of money.8 Although their unrealistic expectations were soon shattered after their arrival overseas, they still possessed a desire for quick money, and gambling seemed the way to obtain it as well as providing some diversion from a hard new life. It thus met the psychological needs to the coolie immigrants.
However, other factors lay behind the spread of gambling too.
There were Government, gambling-farmers, and gambling-house owners who had a vested interest in the vice. Gambling as a rich source of income was quickly discovered by the British colonial governments in Penang and Singapore. Within six years of its establishment in 1792, the Penang government introduced the first gambling farm, and the farming system continued to exist in the island until 1812. 10
In Singapore, despite strong objection from Sir Stamford Raffles, 11 the gambling farm was introduced in 1820 by the Resident, Lieutenant-Colonel Farquhar who saw the financial potential of it. The Singapore farm continued to exist until 1829, when gambling was suppressed throughout the Straits Settlements.
The gambling farm was one of the main sources of revenue for the Government.
In Penang, when it was first introduced in 1792, it scooped a handsome amount of $14,673 which represented about 60 per cent of the total revenue of island. This figure grew steadily and reached its height in 1811, a year before the abolition of the farm, when it yielded $40,580 second only to the opium farm yield of $49,736. In Singapore, when the gambling farm was first introduced in 1820, it collected only $1140 a year ($95 per month),15 but this figure grew phenomenally to $71,283 in 1827.
Of course, the Government was not the only beneficiary of the gambling farm system; the farmers stood to gain a great deal, too.
The arrangement between the Government and farmers was similar to opium farming: public auctioning, heavy deposits and restrictions on the numbers and trading hours of gambling houses. Like the opium farmer, the gambling former was concerned fist by making sufficient money to cover the cost of the farm, and then with making as much profit as possible. His profit margin depended upon his ability to get the maximum number of people interested in gambling; the more people involved in the vice, the better his chances of making a fortune.
He thus promoted gambling by issuing licenses to professional gamblers who wished to organize special sessions in a kongsi house in a mine or plantation, in order to reach the most of the potential gamblers.
There were many games found in Singapore and Malaya during the period under study.
In 1877, there were at least ten games in Singapore. There were the Waiseng lottery (Wei Hsing), Whaway lottery (Hua Hui), Fan-Tan, Poh (Pao Tzu), Dominoes (P'ai chiu), Pai Ke P'iao, Chap Ji Ki (Shin Erh Chin), Hung H'e P'ai (Red and black cards), Die-throwing, and Chinese cards.
A common game found in the Straits Settlements in the middle of the nineteenth century was Poh. According to Vaughan, this game was played with a die placed in a brass box and kept from moving by a smaller box which fitted into the first. At the bottom of the inner box was an iron pin, the end of which rested on the die and kept it from turning.
The keeper of the gambling house held the Poh and put it into a red bag, placed the die in it, and slid the inner box onto it. The six sides of the die were equally divided and painted red and white.
A mat marked with a diagonal cross was placed on the floor, and the keeper of the Poh sat on the upper part of the mat and span the Poh in the centre of the mat; the players sat round and laid their bets when the Poh stopped spinning, the outer box was taken off and those who had staked their money on the side opposite the red part of the die won.
p242, ref:157 The Poh was said to be a fair game, and large sums of money were 158staked.
Three other popular games in the Straits Settlements were Whaway, Waiseng, and Chap Ji Ki. All these three were lotteries.
Whaway promoters issued a list of thirty-six animals which could be bet on; many of these animals were familiar, such as the cock, cat, tortoise, snake, 159pig, duck, bee, tiger, buffalo, rat, and horse, and they were easily identifiable.
The idea of using common animals instead of Chinese characters was to make it easier for prospective gamblers; even illiterates could play without any difficulties.
This reveals the intention of the promoters to penetrate into all social classes and to reach as many people as possible.
The winner of the game received thirty times the amount of his or her stake.
The Waiseng game was another lottery, in which the public was invited to put a stake on the candidates in the periodic examinations in China.
The Waiseng game was another lottery, in which the public were invited to bet on the surnames of the candidates in the periodic examinations in China.24
Before the result of each examination was announced, the names of the candidates were grouped according to their different surnames. Information about the number of these surnames and the literary background of each candidate was provided to the gamblers, and the odds were determined by the size and potential of each surname.
After the result of the examination was announced, the surnames of the first three successful candidates were the winners. 25
While Chap Ji Ki only involved betting on twelve cards, the range of the cards could be widened by different combinations, and the players would win by striking the right combinations.
The Chap Ji Ki which literally means 12 cards, involved betting on two sets of 6 cards with the 6 red 'men' and 6 black 'men' used in the Chinese chess.
The red cards consisted of Sway (field Marshall), Soo (Prime Minister) Siong (Minister), Koo (Chariot) Beh (Horse), Pow (Cannon) and the black cards were made up of Cheong (General), Soo (Scholar), Cheong (Elephant), Koo (Chariot), Beh (Horse) and Pow (Cannon).
The range of the cards was widened to 144 combinations, and the players would win by striking the right combinations.26
Both Whaway and Waiseng were introduced from China.
Whaway, which was popularly known later in Singapore and Malaya as Chee Fah (Chih Hua) originated in Chekiang Province during the reign of the Tao-kuang (1821-1850), and it became popular amongst the Chinese in the coastal provinces of Chekiang, Fukien and Kwangtung as well as the British settlement of Hong Kong.28
There is no record about when Weiseng first came into being, but it is certain that the game became popular in Kwantung during the T'ung-chih reign (1862-1874),29 and that it was also popular among the Chinese in Hong Kong.
The romanization of these two games, Whaway and Waiseng, suggests a Cantonese origin, and this also suggests that both games were introduced from Canton via Hong Kong. 30
All these lottery games possessed the same characteristics: they were easy to play, required little direct participation, and yielded quick results.
All these lottery games possessed the same characteristics: they were easy to play, yielded quick money from small bets with high return, and they required little direct participation.31
Because of these advantages, these lotteries appealed to all classes and dominated the gambling scene of the Straits Settlements in the second half of the nineteenth century.
In June 1870, the Whaway lottery plagued Singapore to a fearful extent. Hong Kong Street, a short street in the heart of the city, increasingly became the centre of the vice. It was swamped with gamblers from all walks of life, many of whom were Chinese women, children and servants who were 'mad after the lottery'. 32
Gambling, though illegal in Singapore, seemed to have spread in spite of police knowledge, for there were at least ten gambling houses operating publicly in Hong Kong Street without fear of police prosecution.33
This gambling spree did not escape the notice of Vaughan who wrote in the same year that Whaway lottery indulged by all classes of Chinese in Singapore with the daily result known at 3.00 pm.
The threat of Whaway to the well-being of the Chinese in Singapore cut across the dialect and class lines, and prompted the Chinese leaders to petition the government for its suppression.35 In 1898, Whaway devastated Penang with its sophisticated operation. Results were made known twice daily.
Lotteries such as Waiseng, Whaway and Chap Ji Ki claimed a high toll among them in the late nineteenth century.
Traditionally Chinese women were submissive to men, spending most of their time at home bringing up children. They were barred by tradition from visiting gambling houses and participating in public gambling.
But their desire for quick money was as strong as their husbands', and lotteries which reached them indirectly through agents met both their desire and social requirement.
The agents could be men or women who frequented neighbourhoods searching for clients, providing information about the lotteries and helping clients to stake their money; they acted as collectors of stakes as well as guarantors of prize money.
Those who won would be quickly paid out by the agents.40 Central to the success of the lottery system was secrecy. The gamblers did not have to go to gambling houses to get satisfaction, nor did they need to claim their prizes directly form the bankers. This concealed their habit from members of their families, relatives and friends, and they could continue gambling without much interference.41
But the psychological effect on the victim was the same if not worse; the stakes raised high expectations and increased excitment, and players tended to spend more time in expecting and guessing than those p138 who directly participated in games.
This, of course, affected many women in their home duties: meals were not cooked and children were not properly cared for. But the most devastating effect on domestic life was the draining away of family wealth.
Some rich women pawned their jewellery in order to support their habit.42 Poorer women resorted to prostitution to pay off gambling debts,43 or took their own lives as a solution to their problems.44
The evil of gambling cannot be fully understood without a further investigation into its wider social impact. It was the root of many other evils such as theft, robbery and gang fights.
Those who lost heavily in gambling tended to become more involved in embezzlement, burglary and murder. As gambling was a lucrative source of income, it attracted many secret societies to run gambling houses. Disputes over the control of gambling houses led to constant unrest and threatened the peace and order of the community.45
As pointed out by WA Pickering, the veteran Protector of Chinese of the Straits Settlements, that '... gambling, as it now exists in Singapore, is a danger to peace... Nothing is more likely to create quarrels and jealousy between the Secret Societies than the emulation which is aroused to share in the great profits accruing from the establishment of gaming houses in the various districts of the Settlement'.
Moreover, it greatly affected the normal functionning of a commercial society like the Chinese community in Singapore and Malaya.
Embezzlement by shop accountants and assistants involved in gambling threatened the survival of some businesses; the draining of cash into the hands of gambling promoters caused shortage of money supply in the market.47
The attitude of the British Colonial Government in Penang and Singapore towards gambling before 1829 had been ambivalent.
This ambivalence arose from two contradictory stands: gambling was socially and morally evil, but gambling could well be an important source of revenue.
In the initial period, revenue considerations seem to have outweighed social and moral issues, and a farming system was adopted both in Penang and Singapore.
The dilemma of the British Colonial Government as regards gambling was best reflected in the opposing policies followed by the early administrators in Singapore.
In 1819, Raffles strictly prohibited gambling in the new settlement following his bad experience of legalized gambling in Java and Bencoolen.180
But his policy was very quickly countered by his Resident Lieutenant-Colonel Farquhar, who let out the first gambling farm in 1820.
This decision was then reversed by Raffles in 1823, who laid down severe punishment for 181 offenders.
Again Raffles 's move was countered by another Resident, I QO John Crawfurd, who restored the gambling farm three months later.
As the British Colonial Government became more aware of the social evils of gambling, the vice was suppressed in 1829 throughout the Straits Settlements.183 The Government's clamp-down in 1829 drove gambling underground.
But, ironically, this did not produce the desired results; instead, it showed signs of growth. In 1832, many gambling houses existed in Singapore, at least 20 concentrated in Church Street alone.52
In 1841, reports estimated that there were about 100 gambling establishments in Singapore city itself, with many more in the country 185 districts.
This figure seems to have been maintained to the end of the nineteenth century. WA Pickering reported that over 100 gambling 186 houses had been established on the island since 1882.
The growth of gambling houses meant the deepening of social crisis: more family 187 tragedies, increases in theft, violence and crime.
The growth of gambling and its associated social problems presented the government of the Straits Settlements with a serious challenge.
The usual step taken by the government to suppress gambling was a raid. When police received information about gambling activities, they raided the premises and detained gamblers as well as gambling-den keepers. The detainees were prosecuted in accordance with the existing ordinance. Those who were found guilty were fined or jailed for a short period.
As gambling was not a criminal act, offenders were sometimes treated leniently. This leniency was viewed as a sign of weakness, and was taken advantage by the undesirable elements who had totally disregarded the law, and started more gambling dens.
p139/p140 The Act transferred gambling prosecutions from the Recorder's court to the police magistrates' courts; the former used to sentence the offenders with hard labour, while the latter imposed a fine with maximum penalty of Rs. 100.
Besides, the new Act did not provide the police with power to prosecute off-shore gambling, so that many boats on the rivers and in the harbours became notorious gambling dens.57
The result of the leniency of the law was the growth rather than decline of this notorious vice. The growth of gambling reveals not only the deficiency of law, but also the ineffectiveness of the police force.
The fact that the Straits Settlements had only a small force meant that it had difficulty in coping with the growing problems;58 presumably catching gamblers was not their top priority. However, what seriously undermined police efficiency was not the small size of the force but its corruption.
Corruption was rooted in poor wages. Some European constables who had contacts in the underworld alleged to be on the payroll of some gambling establishments, receiving $20 monthly.59
When European constables were corrupted, the native policemen who were at the bottom of the police hierarchy had no resaon to be honest for the sake of the reputation of the force.
Further, as most gambling houses were guarded by thugs who were prepared to use violence to resist arrest, few policemen would be prepared to risk their lives in carrying out their duties.
The low efficiency of the force apparently worried the Police Department which found it necessary to use material incentives to boost the moral of the force.
In 1846, the Department promised half of whatever money was found on the gambling tables during the raids as rewards.
Underlying the failure of the government's repeated attempts to suppress gambling lay a group of unscrupulous gambling-promoters with a well organized system of communication. The precise origins of these people are unknown. They consisted of both men and women, and many of them seem to have good business backgrounds;62 many of them also seem to have obtained British citizenship as a protection against l95 possible deportation by the Government of the Straits Settlements.
Merchants' involvement in gambling is not surprising. Their acquisitive nature led them to view gambling as a most profitable entreprise. With the introduction of lotteries, gambling was no longer restricted to the gambling houses, but was easily accessible to the general public.
The turnover was great, and so was the profit.
In the last decade of the nineteenth century, the Waiseng lotteries were alleged to have a turnover of at least S$100,000 per month. 64
In 1898, the three popular Chap Ji Ki lottery companies in Singapore were estimated to have netted about S$9,000 to S$15,000 per month.65 Because of the huge profits involved, thos merchants who had no morals quickly seized the opportunity to become promoters.
(p247) Because of the huge profits involved, thos merchants who had little moral constraint seized quickly the opportunity to become promoters.
They developed an effective system of communication with gamblers in an attempt to beat the police. A system of agents (known alse as collectors) was adopted.
Agents were appointed by the managers (promoters or their representatives) from among friends or those introduced by friends, and they were trustworthy and well-paid.66
At the same time, agents had to obtain the confidence of their clients and charged commissions (usually of ten per cent) on successful stakes.67
The post of agent provided a steady income, and was much coveted.68 It could be a full-time occupation or part-time job.69
The agents sometimes were allowed to have sub-agents who, again, received commissions and were under control of agents.
To avoid prosecution, the agents seldom carried with them cards of Chinese characters of the lotteries, which could be used as evidence againt them if caught. They instead used written symbols, strings of beads, numerals, or fancy hieroglyphics.
The stakes of clients were usually put up together with 202 various symbols. After having collected all stakes, the agents assembled at a certain place secretly nominated by the manager in advance.
The lottery was then drawn, and the agents quickly sorted out the winning lots and returned to their clients with money.71 As the venue for the draw of the lottery was a target for police raids, it was carefully selected. As a rule, the lottery was never drawn twice in one place. Frequent shifting of the venue was to prevent the police from acquiring accurate information about the draw.
The places selected were usually houses with some means of escape through a back door or over the roofs of other houses into djoining streets, and 205 the houses were usually fortified. The manager also employed informants who were to detect police movements, and to give out warnings in advance before police arrival.206
Even the most effective system of precaution offered no absolute guarantee against arrest. The best way was to shift the operation centre out of the Straits Settlements to the neighbouring states where gambling was legal, and at the same time to retain an effective system of communication and control over clients.
At the end of the nineteenth century, many Whaway and Waiseng lottery conpanies moved they centres of activity to (p248) Johore and the Riau islands, while their counterparts in Penang had theirs shifted to Kedah 207.
All of them still retained effective control over the agents and clients. In 1898, when five principal agents for the Waiseng lotteries in Riau were arrested and banished from Singapore, another group of agents quickly took their places to continue operation.76
The prevalence of gambling in the Chinese community in Singapore and Malaya during this period was not due to the innate nature of the Chinese for gambling.
It was due to the nature of the immigrant community, the social and psychological needs of the immigrants, the gambling farm system, and the vested interests of gambling farmers and promoters.
Gambling had a profound social impact on he Chinese community. It ruined many Chinese families, and caused many personal miseries and tragedies, and contributed to social disorder.
It became a principal cause for secret society quarrels and gang wars.
The failure of the Straits Settlements governments in suppressing the gambling was the result of an ineffective police force, corruption, and the well-organized gambling operations.
|Gambling was one of the pastimes of the Chinese immigrants. However, those who indulged in gambling would find themselves continually indebted and thus exploited by their employers when they were unable to complete their contracts.|
Demikian juga dengan alasan mengumpulkan pajak yang dapat digunakan untuk pembangunan ibukota, sejak akhir 1967 dan awal 1968 Gubernur DKI Jaya, Letjen (KKO) Ali Sadikin mengeluarkan ijin untuk membuka kasino dan menyelenggarakan judi Hwa Hwe di daerah DKI Jaya. Ijin diberikan kepada A Piang "Djinggo" alias Atang Latief dan Djiauw Foek Sen (ayah Yan Dharmadi) untuk membuka casino PIX di Petak Sembilan (sekarang jalan Kemenangan) dan casino NIAC di Jakarta Theater, Jalan Thamrin. Casion PIX, singkatan dari kata Petak IX tepatnya berlokasi di Gedung Sing Sen di Gang Uca. Kemudian Casino PIX dipindahkan ke sebuah gedung di Jalan Hayam Wuruk yang kelak menjadi kantor Bank Bhumy Bahar (Bank Bahari). Sedangkan ijin untuk menyelenggarakan judi Hwa Hwe diberikan kepada Tan Tjauw Koen.
Di samping itu sebagai pelengkap kota metropolitan ratusan bar, nicht club, panti pijat dan tempat-tempat maksiat lainnya muncul dan bertebaran di berbagai tempat di ibukota. Legalisasi perjudian ini menimbulkan dampak yang sangat negatif kepada penduduk Jakarta, terutama judi Hwa Hwe yang segera menjadi wabah yang melanda kota Jakarta dan meminta banyak korban. Di samping korban perjudian, banyak kehidupan rumah tangga yang menjadi berantakan karena menjadi korban para hostess (pramuria) nicht club tersebut. Ironisnya penguasa ibukota berikutnya dengan alasan yang sangat rasialis, merelokasi pusat kegiatan maksiat ke daerah China Town atau Pecinan. Di luar daerah Pecinan tidak dikeluarkan ijin untuk membuka kegiatan maksiat tersebut. Pusat-pusat perjudian dan maksiat kemudian menjalar ke seluruh kota besar di Indonesia.
Penggunaan segelintir pengusaha etnis Tionghoa yang dijadikan kroni Presiden Soeharto dan tumbuhnya pengusaha perjudian dan maksiat lainnya, sudah tentu menimbulkan citra yang sangat negatif di hadapan rakyat Indonesia, seolah-olah seluruh etnis Tionghoa sangat rakus, tidak bermoral dan hanya mengeruk kekayaan dengan melakukan hal-hal yang buruk dan merusak Indonesia.
Autre forme de récupération : durant le seul mois d'août. 50 millions de roupies sont entrees dans les caisses de l'Etat. Elles proviennent des droits perçus sur le hwa-hwe, jeu subtil qui se joue à une seule carte sur quoi figurent trente-six symboles qui doivent permettre de déchiffrer l'énigme d'un poème chinois. C'est à l'occasion de la Foire de Djakarta que ce jeu, qui passionne les Indonésiens, a pu refaire son apparition. Fin juillet, le sévère général Amir Mahmoud, gouverneur militaire de la capitale, avait voulu interdire le hwa-hwe, en le qualifiant de divertissement communiste et chinois ». Aussitôt, le général Ali Sadikkine, ancien commandant des K.K.O. (les marines créés par Soekarno) - que les gens appellent affectueusement Sad-Sad quand ils le croisent dans la rue, prit la tête d'une manifestation et s'en alla demander audience à Suharto. Il obtint la levée de l'interdit. "mais, conseilla-t-il, ne jouez pas trop pendant la foire, sinon il n'y aura plus personne autour des stands". Il fut partiellement entendu. Dans la journée, les joueurs se retenaient, mais, la nuit venue, un incroyable grouillement de turbans roses, jaunes, mauves, bruns animait les places et les jardins pour la plus grande gloire du hwa-hwe. Le « cours nouveau » de l'Indonésie a commencé dans le sang, le 30 septembre 1965. Ce jour-là, le « gourou » de Suharto, qui n'est, paraît-il, qu'un « dukun » (sorte de devin capable d'interpréter les secrets des plantes), lui avait téléphoné pour lui recommander de quitter sa maison et d'aller se délasser « là où les deux rivières se croisent ». En short, Suharto s'installa sur l'herbe, à petite distance du port de Djakarta, et s'amusa a taquiner le goujon. C'est ainsi qu'il franchit le Rubicon en pêchant à la ligne.
Car, pendant ce temps, la tuerie se déchaînait. A l'instigation du lieutenant-colonel Untung, communiste, des putschistes d'extrême-gauche entreprenaient de décapiter l'Armée. Le commandant en chef Abdel hariss Nasution fuyait en sautant par une fenêtre, mais son fils était tué à sa place. Six généraux étaient massacrés et leurs corps jetés dans un puits. Tandis que Nasution errait dans une sorte de demi-folie, seul Suharto était disponible pour reprendre la situation en main. Dès le lendemain, les troupes d'élite des Sullawesi entraient en action. Le pays entier était appelé à se joindre à une chasse aux communistes qui n'est pas encore terminée.
Gambling "farms" existed in Malaya from the beginning of British rule but, as their inherent evil was soon realised, they were banned by the authorities. However, in spite of this ban, they still carried on covertly for, among the Chinese gambling is perhaps the commonest and most popular form of amusement. Its speculative nature, with prospects of loss or profit, seems to have irresistible appeal. From the Chinese point of view, as from that of many other people, gambling per se is not a vice : it is only its abuse which is reprehensible. This viewpoint was encouraged by the Japanese. In 1943, during the Japanese occupation, gambling "farms" were licensed again in Ipoh, Taiping, Penang, and Kuala Lumpur. As there was no need for gambling to be carried on surreptitiously, it flourished again with a gusto and zeal which is certainly characteristic of the Chinese when they decide to take up anything in earnest. Some of these establishments were very large indeed and gave employment to more than a thousand persons. After the return of the British to Malaya in 1945, the licence which had been given to the Chinese to indulge in this pastime was frowned upon and the gambling "farms" were once more closed down. But, as their organisation remained intact ....
With gambling continuing to exist outside the law, Chinese secret societies were not slow to see there were unlimited opportunities for them to make money by "protecting" it. In the Federation of Malaya, the two main societies controlling this racket were none other than the Hung Min and Hua Chi Societies, which we have referred to in the previous chapter, and their satellite gangs.
In this racket, the main task of the secret societies is to protect the gambling promoter and his runners from the law, dissatisfied punters, and other gangsters who may try to interfere. The police have tried their best to break up these gambling syndicates and arrest the promoters behind them, but their task is a very difficult one. In the first place, the police are mostly Malay and the gamblers Chinese; secondly, the location of the gambling syndicates is continually changed. Stakes are collected by runners employed by the gambling promoter, so that punters run no risk except that of losing their money if the runner is unfortunate enough to be apprehended by the police. The runner in turn devises many ingenious methods to avoid being arrested in possession of incriminating evidence. For instance, the notes he makes of the punter's name, the amount of money wagered, and so on, are written down on any odd scrap of paper undecipherable Chinese ideographs which are intelligible only to himself. From reliable information received at the present time, it appears there are three large illegal lotteries operating in Singapore. Their annual takings amount to anything up to $M50 million a year. Their organisation is so large, and is supported on such a vast scale, that the arrest and conviction of four hundred of their runners in 1955, did not have any appreciable effect on them. Whereas Singapore is the stronghold of three illegal gambling games known as Chap-Ji-Ki (or Twelve Cards), One Hundred or One Thousand Characters, and Chee Fah (or Thirty-Six Characters lottery). Kuala Lumpur is the home of the last one only. In September, 1955, there were known to be two big Chee Fah lotteries operating in Kuala Lumpur. One was called Yau Lei, which means appropriately in Cantonese "profit," and the other Tai Lei, of "Great Profit."
A Malayan-wide lottery, known as The Konan Saiken (Southern Regions Reconstruction Lottery) was publicised as 'the million-dollar lottery' ! Actually, 500,000 tickets were issued at $1.00 each. The first issue appeared in August 1943. It was an instant success, its great attraction being the Ist. Prize of $50000 and many other prizes totalling $150000. It was a monthly lottery, drawn in Singapore and tickets were sold through Banks, Government offices, Community Associations, clubs
.....and Military and Navy contractors crossed swords at 'Fan-Thun'* and 'Phai-Kow'*. Within a day, fortunes were made or lost. Here, Japanese cigarettes and free refreshments were supplied by the bankers who reaped huge commissions. The multitudes that visited the 'farms' were people of all walks of life: traders, grocers, vegetable-gardeners, pork-sellers, fishermen, hawkers, clerks, salesgirls, labourers, maidservants, waitresses, cooks, mechanics, ricksha-pullers, and even beggars Once in the Farm, nobody cared for the heat and the stench; nobody cared for dignity or indignity. The lure of making easy money is one of the most infectious diseases in the world. It was clear to everybody, whether gamblers or non-gamblers, that Gambling Farms were death-traps. The earnings and hard savings of people who could ill afford to waste them, all went to these 'farms'. Families were ruined; people ran into debt; thousands pawned or sold their last piece of family jewels; many sold houses and estates; hundreds absconded when money in their custody could not be replaced; many committed suicide by hanging, by leaping down from tall buildings, by drowning, and by taking poison; and scores ended their careers in madhouses. No wonder that now and again, anti-Japanese elements threw hand-grenades into gambling-farms and Amusement Parks and staged shootings to discourage people from patronising the gambling establishments. Gambling farms, instead of being measures of curbing inflation (so loudly claimed by the authorities), actually increased inflation. Hawkers, food-vendors, vegetable farmers and all classes of tradesmen, in order to recoup their gambling losses, raised prices of goods upon the slightest, pretext; police and detectives, stung by gambling losses, increased their attention on importers and exporters, and these in turn had to raise prices of commodities in order to cope with the increased 'levies' on them; and people who won easy money, spent recklessly and thus encouraged the increase in the prices of foodstuffs. Inflationary tendencies moved in ever widening circles as gambling went on. Gambling farms not only ruined people financially, but also caused moral bankruptcy. Men and women, caught in the mire of gambling failures, became desperadoes. Informers increased.
Another evil of the 'farms' was that they gave a fillip to superstitious practices. As a result, manufacturers of red-candles, joss-sticks, 'silver-paper' and 'yim-po' (underworld-currencies) had a wonderful volume of business. It is incredible but true, that even men fell victim to superstition, and believed in the direction of ghosts and spirits. Caught fast in the clutches of 'Chee-Fah'* and 'Chap-Ji-Ki Double-totes',* the gamblers would believe in anything that could save them. They believed in dreams, in omens good and bad, in chance meetings, chance sights and chance sayings. If they heard that somebody had committed suicide, they would rush to worship the body of the deceased whose spirit must be burning for vengeance against the gambling 'farm'. Failing to reach the corpse, they would worship at its grave, or at the site of the suicide to invoke the spirit to give them the correct answer to the next opening of 'Chee Fah' or 'The Double Totes'. Believe it or not, men and women used to go at night to cemeteries, to implore ghosts to give them a propitious dream or a revelation concerning the solution of the next day's riddles. Many women fell easy prey to mediums and sorcerers, and temples and roadside shrines waxed rich with their offerings and monetary gifts. What lent credence to these superstitious activities was that there were people who had won huge prizes through the worship of ghosts and spirits. Despite all this indulgence in spiritualism, and the invocation of the spirits of the ....
'Fan-Thun' : A guessing game using seeds and small peebles, to guess the number that remains after deducting lots of four from a heap which is covered up before betting takes place.
'Phai-Kow' : Chinese dominoes using wooden 'cards'.
'Chee-Fah' (p93): Chinese 'Literary Flower-Puzzles' involving riddles with allusions to classical Chinese literature.
'CHAP-JI-KI-DOUBLE TOTES' (p.93): A guessing game based on the 12 Chessmen of Chinese chess. Both guesses must be the ones picked out by the Si-yeh to score a double-tote.
The portly Chinese proprietor of the gambling saloon at Jesselton, capital of North Borneo, beamed and bowed obsequiously at the two Kempetai officers He held a board with the chalked characters for "blood on the moon". Their only interest, that morning of October 9th, 1943, was in the hidden relationship between that clue and the number which the gambling operator had placed in a sealed bag hanging under the verandah ready for the chee fah lottery draw that night.
The Japanese were about the only ones who did not know that "blood on the moon" was more that the usual daily riddle, that the guerilla leader, Lieutenant Albert Kwok, was making a gambler's bid for high stakes on a weak hand, ...
Bayi Tabung adalah rekaman peristiwa yang menjadi topik sejarah saat lagu itu diluncurkan. Sementara kata taisen, yang kemudian di kalangan muda-mudi artinya menjadi pacar, berasal dari judi hwa-hwe yang marak di Jakarta akhir 1960-an dan awal 1970-an.
Judi itu menjanjikan 36 angka keberuntungan dengan simbol binatang pada setiap angkanya. Angka 1 (ikan bandeng), misalnya, taisen-nya angka 5 (singa), angka 30 (monyet) taisen-nya angka 23 (ikan mas koki), dan seterusnya.
"Kalau adek jadi ikan mas koki, abang yang jadi taisennya... monyet dong," kata Benyamin dalam salah satu lirik lagunya.
Lotto: Lotere totalisator disebut juga Hwa-hwe, langkah darurat dalam bidang pendidikan pada tahun 1967, untuk dapat menyekolahkan anak-anak terlantar. Hal ini dilakukan karena tahun 1966 lebih dari 60% anak-anak usia sekolah di Jakarta tidak bersekolah. Gedung-gedung sekolah serta guru-guru sangat kurang, sistim pendidikan dasar runtuh karena tidak cukup memperoleh pembinaan, khususnya dalam bidang pembiayaan. Langkah ini dihentikan apabila kondisi telah memungkinkan.