15 Jul 2005

Singapore Kidney Charity Chief Quits Amid Controversy

July 14 (Bloomberg) --

The head of Singapore's National Kidney Foundation T.T. Durai resigned after newspaper reports about his salary and perks prompted a public outcry and calls for him to step down.

Durai, the charity's 56-year-old chief executive, offered his resignation two days after scrapping a defamation suit against Singapore Press Holdings Ltd., owner of the Business Times and Straits Times newspapers.

"The NKF board and the CEO sought the minister's intervention and offered to resign," Singapore's Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan said today in a statement, noting the government will name an interim chief to run the charity and will reconstitute the foundation's board. "Shattered public confidence must be restored."

The National Kidney Foundation's offices were this week vandalized and more than 34,800 people signed an online petition calling for Durai's ouster, after the Business Times reported that he was paid S$1.8 million ($1.06 million) over the past three years and sometimes traveled first-class. The newspaper cited disclosures made in a court hearing Monday.

The controversy led more than 3,800 donors to cancel their monthly contributions to the charity as of 5:30 p.m. yesterday, according to foundation spokeswoman Juliana Khoo.

The charity will suspend fund-raising activities until the new board completes a review of its operations, the Ministry of Health said in a separate statement today.

Balaji Sadasivan, senior minister of state for health, today urged that the controversy shouldn't disrupt the care of kidney dialysis patients.

"Looking at the events in the past 24 hours, it appears this trust that the public had in the NKF has suffered," Channel News Asia quoted Sadasivan as saying. "It is very important that NKF rebuild the trust of the public by being transparent."






7 comments:

not the real Tinted-Tap Durai said...

If the plumber "lost it" with a $990 tap, gimme a break, with the kind of money I was dealing with, can't I "lost it" too? We are talking scalability here...

BlogInquisitor said...

Funny, somehow the people who visit this website seem to like inaccurate reporting of one nature and disapprove of the inaccurate mass media in Singapore.
Somehow mixing Mr Goh and Mrs Goh, is a perfectly fine. Making sweeping statement without substatiation is fine. But somehow when more established forms of media do similar tactics, there's a need to burn it to teh ground. Hmm, puzzling.

soci said...

I think it si something to do with having a 'team' of reporters and editors engaged in the production process when the mass media slip up.

As for somone slipping up when speaking publically, drawing attention to it merely detracts from the message, unless you are teaching English or Public speaking.

Anonymous said...

... latest breaking news. A man who looked like the former people's fund-raiser, tainted-tap Durai, was reportedly seen at Raffles Place peddling a job-loss programme he called "the plumber lost it". He claims it has a 100 percent success rate, having tried it himself ...

Anonymous said...

You know, for a long time now, I've not been able to get a job. Because the prospective employers always avoid giving feedback, I'm usually besides myself with possibilities as to the potential reasons why. But apparently it's because I didn't know or didn't have the confidence to spend other people's money.

lee hsien tau said...

If you've never come across newspapers like the Kansas City Star, you don't know what it is like to live outside a strait-jacket (and the mid-west is considered the most conservative as far as the States is concerned).

I touched down in the States just before Desert storm blew up. There isn't much advertising in the main paper itself. Just a profusion of differing views even on something as simple as whether Bush will call it a 'go'. The same goes for discussion in the office (between the yanks, of course. My fellow Singaporeans merely gave it passing mention, more intent on touring as much of the States as possible with their spare time).

Having been used to the so-called more established forms of media here, you could say I experienced information overload. I couldn't decide which of the views thrown up in the paper was the 'correct view' that would 'agree with me', so used to being fed the established view.

There are 2 forms of social conditioning we are discussing here. One teaches the idea that if you fear being knocked down by a car, don't venture out of the house. The other teaches the idea that, if you never venture out of the house, you will never know if your fear of being knocked down by a car is presumptuous.

Ideas germinate from the second form of social conditioning. Ideas which can in the beginning be chaotic.

People who prefer control do not like this form of social conditioning. And that's when consistent burning to the ground takes place. Otherwise it is part and parcel of the chaotic phase before direction is established.

Anonymous said...

...just as success breeds contempt, control leads to managing outcomes...