RM16b sought from fund

THE Dewan has been asked to approve RM16.1bil from the Consolidated Fund via the Suplementary Supply Bill, with the bulk of it being for the Contribution to Statutory Funds. 

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Shafie Mohd Salleh also tabled a motion to withdraw RM5.4bil from the Development Fund. 

Tabling the Bill, Shafie said that RM14.8bil was allocated for the Contribution to the Statutory Funds, which would be transferred to the Consolidated Development Fund. 

“This is to finance development expenditure,” he said. 

Some RM394mil is to be allocated to the Education Ministry, to build new schools and polytechnics, and for the National Higher Learning Fund. 

“A total of RM212mil is for allocation to the Health Ministry to cover emolument expenses following the Government’s decision to implement the New Malaysian Remuneration Scheme, 10% salary increment, additional contribution to the Employees Provident Fund and other allowances,” he added.  

Dr Shafie said that RM60.8mil was to be set aside for the Culture, Arts and Tourism Ministry, including RM32mil to set up state tourism action councils. 

Another RM1.2mil is to fund Museum and Antiquities Department programmes, including the Raja Kita, Ghost and 35th Asean Anniversary exhibitions.  

Debating the Bill, Datuk Husni Hanadzlah (BN - Tambun) said the Government should be careful in handling funds since war could affect the country’s finances. 

Datuk Ruhanie Ahmad (BN - Parit Sulong) proposed that the Government set up an ad hoc committee to curb the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). 

He suggested the Government make an announcement of preventive measures to ensure the disease did not spread to the country. 

Ruhanie said the Government should distribute leaflets on identifying symptoms of the disease. 

“There should be proper co-ordination between government agencies like the Health Ministry, and Immigration and Customs departments to ensure thorough checks at entry points,” he added. 

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