PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today announced the setting up of a "Tabung Harapan Malaysia" (THM) for the people to contribute to help overcome the nation's RM1 trillion debt. "When people realised how bad the government's finances are, many came forward, expressing their willingness to contribute. We thank them for this spirit of patriotism and generosity," he said after chairing his second Cabinet meeting. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, in a statement, said THM will be managed "systematically and transparently" by the Finance Ministry. "Due to the recent economic developments and growing concerns over the country's current debt position, there are signs of awareness from the rakyat to lend their support to the government," Lim added. "The people voluntarily want to help ease the burden," he said. THM contributions can be deposited into Maybank account number 566010626452. Last week, Lim had said that the country's debt was now RM1 trillion, higher than the figure announced by the previous administration. Mahathir also made a slew of other major announcements: - Cancellation of the MRT line 3 project, hot on the heels of cancelling the Kuala Lumpur–Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) last week. Mahathir said the MRT3 line will be scrapped in his efforts to trim the fat in the nation's mega projects. "The cabinet agrees for HSR to be cancelled subject to discussions with Singapore as it involves significant financial implications. For the same reason, MRT3 will also not continue," he said. "These projects have high financial implications," he said at the press conference at the Prime Minister's Office. - Special payment of RM400 for civil servants in Grade 41 and below and a RM200 special payment for government pensioners. "These payments will be made on June 6," he announced. - Cost-Of-Living-Allowance (COLA) in place of the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) that was given by the previous government. "Very different, very different," he said when asked for the difference between the COLA and BR1M. - Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be abolished in September and replaced with the Sales and Service Tax (SST) then. He said the SST will be implemented starting Sept 1 and that the service tax quantum and percentage are being studied. - Pump prices of RON95 and diesel have been fixed, but market forces will determine the retail price for RON97. He said the new rate and mechanism would be revealed by the Finance Ministry today. The pump price for RON95 is now RM2.20 per litre, RON97 (RM2.47) and diesel (RM2.18). - Highway concessionaires nationwide will give a 50% discount two days before Hari Raya. - Committee to be formed to evaluate the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim). "We will see whether it will remain as how it is now, or revive it to its original purpose. "We will ensure that it will not portray Islam as a cruel and inconsiderate religion. That is not what Islam is," he added. - Permata Negara early education programme under the patronage of Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, will now be put under the Ministry of Education. - Investigations are ongoing on reports against the Election Commission (EC) due to its conduct during GE14. "We are getting reports into some things which were done which were not proper during the elections, when we are finished with that then we will see what we have to do with him (EC chairman)," he said. When asked if he wanted the EC chairman to step down, he said that they are not thinking about that until they get their data.