PUTRAJAYA: Tabung Harapan Malaysia (THM) will be closed on Dec 31, says Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today.
He said in a statement that the Cabinet had agreed to close the fund which was set up seven months ago.
“Malaysians who wish to donate can do so before Dec 31,” he added.
THM was established by the Pakatan Harapan government on May 30 to receive donations and contributions from individuals and companies to assist the government in tackling the country’s debt.
A Cabinet meeting on May 30 agreed to set up THM under subsection 9 (1) of the Financial Procedure Act 1957 (Act 61).
Lim said the National Audit Department would be auditing the THM receipt statements and THM Trust Account payments to ensure the management of THM was in order and of integrity.
An external audit firm has been appointed by the finance ministry to audit the account of THM and it was in line with Section 7 of the Audit Act 1957, he said.
“This is because THM involved funds contributed by the people to pay the country’s debt which surpassed RM1 trillion following the 1MDB scandal and the government is committed to continue being transparent with each sen received,” he said.
Lim said the accumulated total of THM as at 3pm today was RM196,322,746.30 which encompassed contributions received from individuals, organisations or bodies as well as interest from fixed deposit accounts administered by the National Audit Department.
He said the government also expressed its appreciation to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V for his contribution to THM.
Lim said even though the total contributed by Malaysians could not be compared with the debt inherited by the government, THM would always be a symbol of loyalty and patriotism of Malaysians to help settle the country’s debt.
He also said that the government was determined that contributions to the fund should only be based on concerns over the country’s debt.
As such, he said, the government had rejected an offer from a foreign company which wanted to donate RM100 million as it was suspected that there might be a motive for the contribution.