KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians have donated RM7,075,508.79 to Tabung Harapan Malaysia less than 24 hours after its launch.
An elated Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng described it as “truly a remarkable feat”.
He also paid tribute to activist Shazarina Bakti who had, much earlier, initiated a crowdfunding effort.
Lim advised those who had donated to the fund to keep the receipts to claim income tax exemption.
In a press statement, Lim said he was “humbled” by the magnanimity of Malaysians who had channelled money non-stop to Tabung Harapan, set up to assist the federal government “repay the nation’s staggering debt sum”.
“Truly, Malaysians have taken their patriotism to a greater height, willing to part with their allowances and spare cash to help rebuild this nation we all love.
“Malaysians, especially the likes of a young activist and law graduate Ms 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.”
Shazarina had initiated a fundraising page to crowdfund towards reducing the nation’s debt one week before Tabung Harapan Malaysia was officially launched. She has so far raised RM13,476.57.
Lim said: “I applaud her effort in rallying Malaysians from all walks of life to contribute to the cause.
“It is precisely this spirit of hope and unity which wIll also fuel the Pakatan Harapan government, in moving forward to fulfil all of its manifesto pledges for the people.
“I am also pleased to announce that as of 3pm Thursday (May 31), Tabung Harapan Malaysia has so far collected RM7,075,508.79 less than 24 hours after the fund was launched by the government.
“This is truly a remarkable feat.”
Assuring that the government would be transparent with every sen received, Lim said the amount collected would be updated daily on the ministry of finance’s website and on its social media platforms.
Currently, the official government debt is at RM686.8 billion, which is 50.8% of the gross domestic product.