KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 — DAP’s Klang MP Charles Santiago has questioned the government’s move to use the National Trust Fund (NTF) to finance the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines and vaccine-related expenditure, asking the government to explain why funds allocated in the Budget 2021 were not enough.
In a Facebook post today, Charles also asked Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to be “open, accountable and transparent” in disclosing how the RM3 billion vaccine-related funds from Budget 2021 were used, and to allow for public scrutiny on the matter.
“The use of the National Trust Fund would compromise investments and push foreign investors to have little faith and confidence in the way we manage finances,” said Charles.
“It raises concern that the government could arbitrarily use up the RM16 billion available in the fund before the emergency ends.”
Santiago also brought up the matter of reconvening Parliament, and asked the government to table a supplementary Budget so that the additional funds taken from government coffers will go through parliamentary oversight.
Yesterday, the government gazetted an Emergency Ordinance allowing it to use funds from the NTF for the “procurement of vaccines and any expenditure incurred in relation to the vaccines for an epidemic of any infectious disease as specified under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342)”.
The ordinance, named the Emergency (National Trust Fund) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021, adds a new subsection to Section 6 of the National Trust Fund Act 1988.
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak also took to Facebook yesterday to question the matter, saying he had “doubts over what has happened to the RM3 billion” set aside in Budget 2021.