“Black Hole” case: Trust fund recipients only disclosed after awareness campaign

By Emma Victoria

THE SARAWAK government only disclosed the recipients of a trust fund, several years after some of them were given the money.

A witness told the Kuching High Court during the “Black Hole” trial today that the recipients’ identities were only revealed when the state government tabled the accounts of the Government Contribution towards Approved Agencies Trust Fund in 2015.

It was the first time the state government disclosed the identities of those who received money from the trust fund between 2011 and 2014.

The witness, former Sarawak state assembly secretary Supian Tarmizi Mohd Tazuddin, confirmed this during cross-examination by state DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen, who is representing himself in the defamation case.

However, Supian said that as far as he could remember, no audited accounts of the five companies that received the money was submitted to him.

Later outside the court, Chong told reporters that the government only disclosed the recipients in 2015, two years after he headed the campaign to raise awareness on the matter.

“Besides that, the account of the trust fund was first tabled only in 2013 despite the trust fund being set up in 2006,” he added.

According to Chong, a total of RM11.3 billon was allocated by the Sarawak government to the trust fund account, where the money was used to pay off debts and for the bonds issued by the subsidiary companies of the state government.

Chong had demanded the government be transparent about what were the projects purportedly financed by the fund and persistently questioned the whereabouts’ of the money.

He is being sued by the Sarawak government and the State Financial Authority for defamation for using the term ‘Black Hole’ to insinuate that RM11 billion had gone missing from the state coffers.

His allegation was published in the Rocket, Malaysiakini and Sin Chew Daily on Jan 3, 2013 as well as on leaflets distributed by Chong and the DAP.

 

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