Malaysia's Hope Fund to help with country's debt officially closes with over $67m collected

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said after gathering feedback from Malaysians, the government decided to extend the collection period for another two weeks, from Dec 31 to Jan 14.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said after gathering feedback from Malaysians, the government decided to extend the collection period for another two weeks, from Dec 31 to Jan 14.PHOTO: ST FILE

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Tabung Harapan Malaysia or Hope Fund Malaysia has officially closed, collecting more than RM202 million (S$67.1 million) in about eight months.

As of Jan 14 this year, the final collection stood at RM202,716,775.10.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said after gathering feedback from Malaysians, the government decided to extend the collection period for another two weeks, from Dec 31 to Jan 14.

He said that all contributions made after that period will not be credited into the account and will be returned to contributors.

"The amount from this contribution will be used for the federal government's debt repayment."

"The Finance Ministry is in the process of adjusting the closure of the account before auditing is carried out by the Auditor-General's Department," he said in a statement on Thursday (Feb 7).

An account committee chaired by Treasury secretary-general Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir will determine how the contributions are to be used, in accordance with the procedures set out in Tabung Harapan's Trust Deed Account.

 
 

This is so as to ensure that Tabung Harapan's management is organised systematically and with integrity, said Mr Lim.

"The federal government extends its highest appreciation to all Malaysians who have contributed."

"Their contribution reflects their loyalty to and love of our beloved country. In addition, it gives encouragement to the government to work hard to resolve the debt-inherited problems of the federal government," he said.

Tabung Harapan was set up on May 30 after Mr Lim claimed that the country's debt was RM1 trillion, higher than the figure announced by the previous administration.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad then announced the setting up of the fund to accept contributions from the public who wanted to ease the government's financial situation.