Monday, June 4, 2018

The Save Malaysia Fund

When Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng confirmed that Malaysia’s debt has reached RM 1 trillion (actually RM 1, 087.3 trillion) – read my post on May 29, 2018 – Malaysians were aghast, alarmed and troubled. 

Many wondered what could they do to help the country? 

In fact, one law graduate, Nik Shazarina Bakti launched a crowdfunding campaign called “Please Help Malaysia” that raised RM 13,476.57.

PM Mahathir Mohamad speaks to the media after the second cabinet meeting, May 30, 2018. Sunpix by Ashraf Shamsul 

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng receives a replica cheque of RM13,476.57 from Nik Shazarina Bakti at the MoF in Putrajaya on May 31, 2018. Also there was Petaling Jaya MP, Maria Chin Abdullah. Sunpix by Ashraf Shamsul

So on May 30, 2018, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad declared the setting up of a "Tabung Harapan Malaysia" (Save Malaysia Fund) for the rakyat to contribute to help overcome the nation's gargantuan debt. 

He acknowledged: "When people realised how bad the government's finances are, many came forward, expressing their willingness to contribute. We thank them for this spirit of patriotism and generosity". 

And as of 4 PM today, the Ministry of Finance divulged that THM had amassed RM31.4 million in donations from Malaysians: 

(Note: Malaysians are advised to keep their transaction receipts as the donations are tax deductible for both individuals and companies). 

Malindo Air had very early on, pledged to donate RM1 from every sale of domestic flight ticket from June 01 until August 31 towards THM. 

On Saturday, mineral water company Spritzer Berhad and Yee Lee Corporation Berhad, known for their Red Eagle cooking oil, have each donated RM500,000 to the said fund. 

On Sunday, RM3 million came in. Two Penang companies, Ewein Berhad and Magni-Tech Industries Berhad each contributed RM1 million, so too did tycoon Tan Kok Ping. 

Catholic churches in the northern region (i.e. Penang, Perak, Kedah, Perlis and Kelantan) had announced they will be handing over donations they collect at masses held from June 22 to 24. 

I am sure there will be many other companies and even organizations that will give generously.

Not to forget, the thousands of ordinary citizens who made donations, big and small. And still making donations. And will be making donations.

It makes me teary-eyed to know that Malaysians are rallying to do something tangible for the country. Malaysians for Malaysia!

And shouldn’t our wealthy elite start to open their fat wallets and purses too? 

According to The Star Online dated February 03, 2018, the top 40 richest Malaysians saw their net worth increase by a combined RM63.62 billion or 28% to RM290.48 billion at the end of 2017: 

Robert Kuok (PPB Group), Lim Kok Thay (Genting Group), Teh Hong Piow (Public Bank), Lee Chin Sheng (IOI Group), Ananda Krishnan (Usaha Tegas), Lau Cho Kun (Hap Seng), Quek Leng Chan (Hong Leong), brothers Koon Poh Keong and Koon Poh Ming (Press Metal Aluminium Holdings), Kuan Kam Hon (Hartalega Holdings), Chen Lip Keong (NagaCorp), Francis Yeoh Tiong Lay (YTL Corp), G Gnanalingam (Westports Holdings), Jeffrey Cheah (Sunway Group), Syed Mokhtar Albukhary (MMC Corp), brothers Lee Oi Hian and Lee Hau Hian (Batu Kawan), Chia Song Kun (QL Resources), Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun (AirAisa), Lim Wee Chai (Top Glove), Wong Thean Soon and Norraesah Mohamad (MyEG Services & Exel Force MSC), Goh Peng Ooi (Silverlake Axis), Ngau Boon Keat (Dialog Group), Lim Kuang Sia (Kossan Holdings), Mohd Abdul Karim Abdullah, Abdul Kadier Sahib & Awang Daud Awang Putera (Serba Dinamik Holdings), Cheah Cheng Hye (Value Partners Group), Azman Hashim (AmCorp Group), Vincent Tan (Berjaya Group), Desmond Lim Siew Choon (Pavilion and Malton), Loh Kian Chong (Oriental Holdings), Lim Teck Meng (Scientex), Kong Chong Soon and Kong Pak Lim (UOA Development & United Overseas Australia), Tan Heng Chew (Tan Chong Motor Holdings), Tan Chin Nam and nephew Robert Tan Chung Meng (Goldis & IGB Corp), Leong Kok Wah (Eco World Development Group, Eco World International & Salcon), Tee Eng Ho (Kerjaya Prospek Group). Yong Pang Chaun (Padini Holdings), Teong Teck Lean (GD Express Carrier), Ong Leong Huat (OSK Holdings & OSK Ventures International), Leong Hoy Kum (Mah Sing Group), Gooi Seong Lim (Kim Loong Resources & Crescendo Corp), and Lim Kian Lam (Ann Joo Resources). 

What are you people waiting for? 

Shouldn't we also ask super-rich Najib Razak and Rosmah Mansor to give too?

One wet blanket, an economist and former finance ministry deputy secretary-general, Ramon Navaratnam said the fund is unprecedented and claimed that it seemed as though the rakyat is now expected to bail out the government’s debt. 

Aiyoh, just shaddup lah! If you don't like the idea, it's okay. Don't contribute to THM lah! 

Nobody cares if you give or not – but you don't have to criticize others who want to contribute to this Save Malaysia Fund, okay?

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