PUTRAJAYA: Malaysians have contributed a total of RM7mil to Tabung Harapan Malaysia within 24 hours of its launch.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (pic) said the amount was reached at 3pm yesterday.
“We are humbled by the magnanimity of Malaysians who have been channelling non-stop funds to help the Government repay the national debt of over RM1 trillion.
“Truly, Malaysians have taken their patriotism to greater heights, willing to part with their allowances and spare cash to rebuild the nation,” Lim told a press conference here yesterday.
He spoke to reporters after receiving donations worth RM13,476.57 from activist and law graduate Shazarina Bakti, the first Malaysian to initiate a crowdfunding campaign to reduce national debt.
Lim added that the fund will be kept open for donations, and the latest amounts will be shown on the Finance Ministry website at 3pm every day.
“All the monies donated are tax deductible and so Malaysians are advised to keep their receipts for transactions,” he said.
Asked on auditing for the fund, Lim said it will go through both the internal audit by the Treasury and the one by the Auditor-General’s Department.
He assured Malaysians that the monies will not be used for other purposes except to reduce national debt.
On criticisms that the fund was set up while the Government was spending on the World Cup rights for RTM, Lim said there was a leeway for this as the global football tournament is held once in four years.
“We consider the views of people on this matter but if the rakyat want to show their love for the country, then this is one of the channels that I believe is very meaningful in this day and time,” he said.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced the setting up of the fund on Wednesday.
Only donations in ringgit will be accepted.
THM contributions can be deposited into Maybank account number 566010626452.
Last week, Lim said the country’s debt was now RM1 trillion, higher than the figure announced by the previous administration.
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