Malaysian starts crowd-funding to help reduce country’s debt


A screengrab from gogetfunding.com

PETALING JAYA: Let’s lend our country a helping hand.

Such is the rallying call of a young Malaysian who set up a fundraising page to crowd-fund towards reducing the nation’s federal government debt.

Nik Shazarina Bakti, a legal officer at Sisters in Islam (SIS), hopes to gather Malaysians and “the rest of the world” to help contribute towards the cause.

On the page, the 27-year-old law graduate reminded Malaysians of the time when the rakyat gave up their jewellery, money and valuables so that Tunku Abdul Rahman and the then government could raise enough funds to go to London and claim Merdeka.

“Let’s do it again! And this time, WE are doing it! We can tell our children and grandchildren of this initiative that we all took part in to save Negaraku Malaysia,” she said, urging visitors to share the fundraising page far and wide.

At time of writing, the "Please Help Malaysia" campaign on GoGetFunding has raised nearly US$3,600 of its US$100,000 goal with 92 backers.

On the page, Nik Shazarina said all proceeds will be channelled to the Government at the end of the campaign, and cited the Finance Minister as an example.

“Many have inquired on how sure will the funds be given to the Government, I know I am a stranger to most but believe me, I am not going to pocket any of the funds,” she clarified.

Nik Shazarina said she would update the PayPal account summary daily and upload proof of the funds being channelled to the Government “when the day comes”.

The campaign is slated to run until Tuesday, July 31, 11.59pm UTC.

“If we could work together during the 14th General Election (remember we trusted anyone who could help us), I am sure we can work together for another round,” she added.

Social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir vouched for Nik Shazarina in a public post on her Facebook page.

“I know a lot of people have been wanting to help with our huge debt which just shows how much Malaysians love their country,” she wrote on Friday evening.

Though many people had approached her to do something, Marina was reluctant as she did not think it was appropriate.

“But this young person has taken her own initiative to do something by crowd-funding to save Malaysia. I happen to know her and am so proud of her. So if you can help, do support. Every little bit helps,” she added.

Some commenters on Marina’s post enthusiastically pledged their help, while others expressed their reservations and said they preferred an official, national platform for any such fundraising exercise.

The page can be found at https://gogetfunding.com/please-help-malaysia/.

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