Malaysians raise over RM7m for Tabung Harapan in under 24 hours

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng receives a mock cheque for Tabung Harapan Malaysia at the Ministry of Finance in Putrajaya May 31, 2018. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng receives a mock cheque for Tabung Harapan Malaysia at the Ministry of Finance in Putrajaya May 31, 2018. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

PUTRAJAYA, May 31 — A Malaysian crowdfunding initiative to help the government pay its debt has collected over RM7 million in less than 24 hours.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said Tabung Harapan has garnered RM7.8 million as at 3pm today.

The sum includes the RM13,476.57 raised by a separate public crowdfunding effort, kickstarted by Sisters in Islam (SIS) legal officer, Shazarina Bakti, on gogetfunding.com.

Lim said that the donation sum received would also be updated daily on the Finance Ministry’s (MoF) website and its social media platforms.

“As this involves funds donated by the rakyat, the government is committed to being transparent with every cent received.

“Therefore, the amount collected will be updated daily, on the MoF’s website and on its social media platforms,” he said during a press conference.

Lim said that the sum would also be subject to an internal audit and another audit by the Auditor-General.

“Malaysians, especially the likes of young activist and law graduate Shazarina Bakti, have continued to take their role in nation building seriously, and have not shown any signs of slowing down, after the May 9 victory at the ballot boxes.

“It is precisely this spirit of hope and unity which will fuel the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, in moving forward to fulfil its manifesto pledges for the people,” Lim added.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the crowdfund was formed in response to Malaysians’ concern over the economic mismanagement by the former Barisan Nasional government, thanking them for their “patriotic move” to donate to the government.

Lim had yesterday said all contributions would be systematically and transparently managed by the ministry through the trust fund.

He said only donations in ringgit will be accepted, and deposits may be made via a Malayan Banking account (A/C 566010626452) opened under the name “Tabung Harapan Malaysia”.

Lim said that the account will remain open until the government manages to hit a sizeable target, as the national debt is currently at RM1 trillion.

Shazarina’s crowdfunding campaign, meanwhile, is reportedly slated to run until July 31.

In the press conference today, Lim said that tax exemptions will also be given to all who donate to the cause, including companies, adding that there will be no cap on the limit.

This, he said, would depend on the amount donated.

“For tax deduction purposes, Malaysians who donated to this fund are also advised to keep the receipt of their transaction, as stated under Subsection 44(6) Income Tax Act 1967,” he added.