PUTRAJAYA: In just 24 hours after it was launched by the government, Malaysia’s Hope Fund, or Tabung Harapan Malaysia, has collected more than RM7 million (US$1.76 million) as of 3pm on Thursday (May 31).
The fund was set up for members of the public to contribute towards repaying the country's debt.
"This is truly a remarkable feat," said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng in a media release announcing the tally of donations so far.
"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."
Mr Lim said the finance ministry is “humbled by the magnanimity of Malaysians", highlighting the efforts of young activist and law graduate Shazarina Bakti, who started a similar crowdfunding initiative online.
That provided the inspiration for the government to set up its Hope Fund a week later.
"It is precisely this spirit of hope and unity which would also fuel the Pakatan Harapan government, in moving forward to fulfill all of its manifesto pledges for the people," said Mr Lim.
He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to “being transparent with every sen received”, adding that the amount collected will be updated daily on the finance ministry's website and on its social media platforms.