16 Jul 2005

NKF petition’s aim only half achieved

THE creator of an online petition that garnered almost 40,000 responses from Singaporeans calling for the resignations of National Kidney Foundation chief T.T. Durai and the NKF board said that he had only achieved half his aim.

Lawrence Tan, a 20-year-old full-time national serviceman, said: "Singaporeans signed something which not only called for the NKF board to step down, but for them to show greater accountability and transparency."

He launched his petition on Tuesday night, claiming that Durai had "breached the trust of the people of Singapore and all others who donated to him."

Tan’s views clearly struck a chord with the public, who had expressed their frustration over Durai’s pay package and perks, which came to light during a defamation suit taken out by NKF against Singapore Press Holdings.

While most were relieved to hear about the resignations of Durai and the NKF board on Thursday, they were still hesitant to renew their contributions.

Also pleased to hear about the resignations were two men who had been sued separately in 1998 by Durai. Both had to pay damages and apologise.

"I’m over the moon," said Archie Ong, 56, who was a volunteer when he was sued for remarking to another volunteer that the NKF squandered money and that Durai flew first-class.

Businessman Piragasam Singaravelu, 45, who was sued for libel for saying he had seen Durai flying first-class on Singapore Airlines, said that this was the "best news Singaporeans, especially those who donated to the NKF, can hear"

– The Straits Times/ANN

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