Chong finds something unusual in state trust fund, demands explanations

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, May 2: Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen raises doubt over the flow of money in and out of the ‘Government Contribution towards Approved Agencies Trust Fund’.

First of all, he questioned why the five private companies under the Trust Fund had raised funds through bonds yet the Sarawak government still disbursed billions of ringgit for the repayment of the loans to these companies.

These five companies are Sarawak Capital Assets Sdn Bhd, SSG Capital Resources Sdn Bhd, SGOS Capital Holdings Sdn Bhd, Equisar Sdn Bhd and Aquasar Capital Sdn Bhd.

“Every year, we will have RM1.3 billion paid into this account (owned by the Trust Fund). Where does the money go? The money goes to the repayment of the loans.

“These are government-owned companies that have raised loans. The loans are USD350 million, USD800 million, USD800 million and Sukuk Fund (Aquasar Capital Sdn Bhd) of RM1.5 billion,” said Chong when debating the TYT’s speech in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) and later at a press conference on the sidelines of the DUN sitting today.

Chong, who is also Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, said in 2015, the allocation from the Sarawak government for the repayment of loans was RM1.3 billion.

Another RM1.3 billion was allocated in 2016, and in 2017, he said, it was RM1.4 billion, out of which RM1.3 billion was used to pay these companies.

“My question is that these companies raised bonds, collected money from the lenders, collected money in the form of USD350 million, USD800 million, USD800 million, USD800 million and RM1.5 billion.

“These companies got these loans, collected all the money; where did all the money go to?”

“Where have these proceeds of loans gone to? At the end of the day, the government needed to pump in money to this trust account to repay the loans?”

Chong raising doubts over the funds coming in and going out of the ‘Government Contribution towards Approved Agencies Trust Fund’ in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly today (May 2, 2019).

He claimed that the proceeds from the loans had already been used, and the way it was used did not go through DUN because the companies are private companies.

“Even assuming that the money is used for projects in Sarawak, why can’t the government go through the proper channel of the budget?

“But here, what the Sarawak government is doing that they get their subsidiary companies to borrow money, use it in the projects and as far as DUN is concerned, DUN will approve these amounts every year, as grants to these trust account as loan repayment.

“This is what I called circumventing the budgeting procedure, circumventing the budgeting procedure so that how the money is spent is not accountable to the DUN.”

On a related matter, Chong pointed out that in 2012, he noticed there was ‘double entry’ for a transaction.

He said in 2012, a sum of RM88,608,000 was paid to Kementerian Kerajaan Tempatan dan Pembangunan Komuniti Sarawak (KKTPKS) through the State Finance Secretary (SFS).

In 2013, the same amount was paid to KKTPKS, which Chong had termed it as ‘double entry’.

“Why I so confirmed that this is a double-entry because in the subsequent year of 2013, there was a re-adjustment to this account of exactly the same amount, back to the trust account.

“How can an eight million fund be paid out twice? There is a lot of explanation which needs to be made,” he said.