20161028 Scrap the politicised President’s Star Charity, a waste of public resources

The President’s Star Charity (PSC) is an annual event promoting PAP’s ‘compassion’, another round of milking unknowing citizens. It should be scrapped.

Recipients of donations need not fear the lack funding because contributions through Mediacorp’s hotline pale in comparison with corporate/personal donors’. And corporate/personal donors (“Outright donations”) are donating in the millions with or without Mediacorpse wayang.

(Every year, the Singapore Totalisator Board, a statutory board, contributes more than $1 million to the PSC. Without the PSC, tax dollars would have gone straight to recipients, including donations from Temasek Cares. Own self donating to own self?).

Charities should not fear going under because it is the responsibility of the government to care for needy/vulnerable citizens. No need to engage in any wayang public display of compassion.

The questions we should be asking is why the need to have so many charities in a “wealthy” country in the first place? Is our redistribution of wealth designed to enrich the wealthy with hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens falling through the cracks?

As one of the highest per capita GDP countries, money has never been an issue. Just look at the billion-dollar deals by Temasek/GIC and the hundreds of million$ paid to key management personnel in both SWFs. And we need to spend months organising the PSC to raise less than half a million dollars?

In reality, PAP and Mediacorp are the ultimate beneficiaries. Mediacorp is 100% owned the government through Temasek and is also PAP’s propaganda machine.

The PAP is effectively using public resources to tell the public that it cares! And Singaporeans continue to lap up all the propaganda?

Worse, Singaporeans have continued to accept an opaque government as the norm and PAP to sign blank cheques. In 2007, Leong Sze Hian referred to media reports and raised a pertinent question about PSC 2007 in “President’s Star Charity – where’s the missing $840,000”? Subsequently, the PAP controlled MSM stopped publishing a breakdown of PSC contributors.

Contributors of PSC 2007:
– Lippo Group president – $1 million
– Lee Foundation – $1.5 million
– Singapore Totalisator Board, Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple, Singapore Pools, etc – $3.25 million (total)
– TV viewers through hotlines – $567,700
(Total $6.3 million)

Leong pointed out the discrepancy of $840,000 because MSM reported only $5.46 million raised by PSC instead of $6.3 million. Discrepancy aside, what I want to highlight is the published figure of $567,700 – 10% of headline figure – raised through contributions from TV viewers. But this amount – not $5.46 million – is equally misleading because it did not take Mediacorp’s expenses into account (see table below).

The price to pay for Mediacorp’s efforts, as to be expected, is not cheap. In 2013, its expense ratio hit a high of about 40% of the headline figure, ie $203,300 expenses to raise $503,915. AGO’s audited figures for President’s Challenge:

Donations, expenses and net amount raised by Mediacorp’s PSC

Year Donations received $ Expenses $ Net amount raised $
2007 620121 160500 459621
2012 575029 203300 371729
2013 503915 203300 300615
2014 612624 203300 409324

2007 2012 2013 2014

($620,121 might have been the final figure for 2007, instead of $567,700, but the net amount raised is actually about $460,000)

Mediacorp’s expense ratio has always been the highest among fundraising event organisers for the President’s Challenge. list of fundraisers (pg 3)

Another pertinent question to ask is why Mediacorp was reimbursed expenses of $203,300 every year, regardless of donations received, from 2012 to 2014. Was Mediacorp given preferential treatment in claiming expenses?

Singapore has a citizen population of 3.4 million. Assuming the net amount raised by PSC averaged $400,000, each citizen would have donated about 11 cents. If 10% of citizens donated to the PSC, each would have donated about $1. Every way we look at it, the president is as hardly an inspiring figure and the PSC is a failure.

(Truth be said, I don’t think our blood-sucking leaders are as compassionate as portrayed by the MSM. Should my take on their parasitic nature be proven wrong, I would be more than glad to issue an apology.)

Annual glamorous events in no way instill compassion in citizens and the only “right” way is for our leaders to be exemplary. (One-off events by real stars to raise funds for victims of disasters are different) Questions:

How much/percentage of salary do our leaders donate to charity?
Before the president’s obscene annual salary was reduced from more than $4 million to $1.54 million, how much did Nathan contribute to charity?
Or did Nathan not contribute a cent but spent his tax dollar income accumulating properties?
What about ultra-wealthy Tony Tan and PM Lee? Do they donate generously to charity or are they hypocrites?
Should Singaporeans support the PSC when wealthy politicians do not lead by example?

Conclusion

The constant use of glamour to raise funds in the wealthiest Asian country sends the wrong message to children.

The PSC is a politicised event and Mediacorp and PAP are the ultimate beneficiaries. Mediacorp disseminates propaganda for the PAP.

Transparency on how donations are expensed should be disclosed to the public without request but isn’t.

Donations from corporations are not raised by the PSC through Mediacorp. A disproportionate amount of public resources (Mediacorp belongs to the government) has been spent to raise peanuts for charities.

The PSC is a huge waste of public resources and does nothing to instill compassion in citizens. It should therefore be scrapped.

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3 Responses to 20161028 Scrap the politicised President’s Star Charity, a waste of public resources

  1. kfc says:

    Agreed. Mr KFC should donate.

  2. Confused says:

    @ Philip
    Singapore has a citizen population of 3.4 million. Assuming the net amount raised by PSC averaged $400,000, each citizen would have donated about 11 cents. If 10% of citizens donated to the PSC, each would have donated about $1.

    If your argument hold, I understand the minimum donations nowadays is $5, it follows that not 10% but less than 2% actually donated because some would have donated $50….

    Every way we look at it, the president is as hardly an inspiring figure and the PSC is a failure.

    Agreed?

  3. Phillip Ang says:

    Don’t watch trash on TV so have no idea the minimum donation is $5. Thanks for further confirmation that PSC is a waste of public resources. 🙂

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