Court to hear submissions on Chong’s request for details on RM11 bil “budget blackhole”

Chong Chieng Jen – FMT pix

By Emma Victoria

THE Kuching High Court will hear the oral submission next Monday on Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen’s application for details from the state relating to the RM11 billion projects under the Government Contribution Towards Approved Agencies Trust Fund.

Chong said he had earlier requested from the state for the details of how the money was spent between 2006 and 2013 but this was rejected.

“I have made the application for the disclosure of a document on the list of projects funded with the RM11 billion fund in the said Trust Fund.

“From 2006 to 2013, a total of RM11.3 billion was allocated by the Sarawak government to an account called Government Contribution towards Approved Agencies Trust Fund.

“I have persistently questioned the whereabouts of the money as it involved a huge amount,” he said in a statement.

In 2015, the state government, through the tabling of the annual financial statements of the said Trust Fund in the State Legislative Assembly, disclosed that the money was used to pay debts taken up and bonds issued by the subsidiary companies of the Sarawak government, Chong said.

“Since it is that the fund was used to finance development projects, thus, my ground of application that these documents are relevant to the case and more importantly, as this involves RM11 billions of public funds, the state government must be transparent about what are the projects purportedly financed by the fund,” he added.

The Kota Sentosa assemblyman said he would leave it to the Court to decide whether the Sarawak government must disclose these documents about the list of projects purported to be financed with this RM11 billion fund.

Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa assemblyman, had raised the issue over the funds for years due to the allegedly opaque manner in which the money was spent.

He was sued by the state government over a media conference in 2013, “The Budget Black Hole – Where has our RM11 billion gone?”.

 

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