By Emma Victoria
THE call for accountability, transparency and good governance was made due to the refusal of the Sarawak government to reveal the identities of those receiving money from the “Contributions Towards Approved Agencies Trust Fund”, the Kuching High Court was told today.
Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen said in his witness testimony during the Black Hole trial, that the call was not an allegation and that he viewed it as bad governance when the people didn’t know where and how the money in the trust fund was used.
The Kota Sentosa assemblyman said he was not against the setting up of such a trust fund if it was managed in a transparent and accountable manner as it involved public money.
In Jan 2013, Chong headed a campaign to raise public awareness on this and held a media conference on the issue.
Leaflets with the words – “The Budget Black Hole – Where has our RM11 billion gone?” – were also distributed.
Chong said he had no control on how the readers felt or reacted to the content of the leaflets.
Instead, he said the government should have been more transparent on the management of the trust fund.
Though he admitted that he had called for the former chief minister to resign, he said it was not intended to smear the image and reputation of the state government.
“I was doing my job (questioning the government). I wouldn’t say I dislike the former chief minister as I am not related to him. I don’t have any personal feelings but I don’t agree on some of the things he did,” he said.
Chong, who is also the Stampin MP, is being sued by the Sarawak government and the State Financial Authority for using the term ‘Black Hole’ to insinuate that RM11 billion had gone missing from the state coffers.
His allegations were published in the Rocket, Malaysiakini and Sin Chew daily as well as on leaflets distributed by Chong and the DAP.