Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Underdog Kidney Foundation

Excerpt taken from Channel News Asia's website

SINGAPORE : The National Kidney Foundation's (NKF) defamation suits against the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) came to abrupt end on Tuesday at the High Court.

This, after its CEO TT Durai admitted during intense cross examination that some of the fittings in its headquarters, which were highlighted in a Straits Times article, were indeed extravagant for a public charity.

The article spoke of a glass panelled shower, a pricey German toilet bowl and a gold plated tap.

Mr Durai finally withdrew both his and the NKF's case against the SPH and its journalist Susan Long.

NKF's CEO was in the witness box for the second day and he was to be the only one.

Senior Counsel Davinder Singh's cross examination focused on several areas.

First, the business relationships Mr Durai had with NKF board member Ms Matilda Chua.

These were through two companies - Proton Web Solutions, a call centre operations based in India, which NKF had contracted its tele-marketing work to - and Global Net, in which Mr Durai himself had a stake.

Mr Durai also said he had held several directorships in addition to his work as CEO of the NKF.

Asked if he had informed the NKF Board of these appointments, he replied that it was not consequential and the Board gave him the liberty to do so.

The court also heard the NKF had a fleet of eight cars and drivers, which Mr Durai and its visiting guests and VIPs could use.

click here: for the complete article

Lesson of the day: DO NOT PISS OFF THE PRESS by trying to sue them

Your face might be on the papers the next day with your $600,000 a year salary being announced to the world. Not very good publicity if you are the CEO of a non-profit organisation dealing with public donations.

For those of you hesitating on/or giving up the idea of donating to NKF, for those who are not contented with the idea that your money intended for kidney patients was used to finance a gold plated tap among other things. There's another Kidney foundation...


Kidney Dialysis Foundation

KDF was set up in 1996 and they have a centre in Kreta Ayer. They "serve nearly 75% of the poorest kidney patients in Singapore". I think these guys are the ones who need the millions to help these patients.

Just check out their management policies:

A number of policies have been implemented to ensure transparency of all commercial transactions.

Cost Effectiveness
To keep cost under control, KDF uses the principle of managed healthcare and subcontracts its dialysis services to a third party through an open tender. KDF pays the subcontractor a fixed fee to handle all dialysis treatment, nursing and ancillary staff and the maintenance of equipment.

Pre-determined Costs
To exercise absolute cost control and minimise administrative and overhead costs while delivering quality care, KDF has benefited from subcontracting because the subcontractors have to work within a given budget. Commercial and accounting records are transparent as costs are pre-determined.

Lean Operation
To keep costs low while providing quality treatment with state-of-the-art machines, KDF keeps its management team lean and trim with a large team of volunteers.

Funds raised and money collected are utilised largely for patient treatment, and not for costly overheads and miscellaneous expenditure. Accountability extends to our financial statements that are easily available for scrutiny, and upon the request of donors.

The fact is, I've never heard about KDF until recently. I only found out about it's existence when we passed a road sign pointing to the KDF compound in I can't remember where now (some ulu place in Singapore).

At first thought, I had the impression that it was related to NKF. Pardon my ignorance, because I don't have much exposure to charitable organisations but aren't they supposed to help out their poor cousin the KDF by sharing some of their wealth? Apparently "KDF is an independent organisation and is not affiliated to any other kidney organisation in Singapore". I guess no one is going to their aid except the public and I say we help the underdogs...too.


At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Phil said...

Yup! I was so shocked when I saw the article! Think of all the prize money they have given away during the show. It just doesn't make any sense no matter whatsoever reasons they gave. Even charity had become some form of "corruption". What is the world coming to?!?

At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

they wouldnt dare install golden taps. maybe they'll downgrade to silver or brass taps or something. ahahahhaa

i agree with ur point on not offending the press... or else.. suffer the wraith of SPH!

- Victor

At 5:06 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

great post on the KDF. We should increase their awareness to the blogging community.

At 11:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup. I have been supporting KDF for the past one year. They do not have the marketing power of NKF to generate funds and all they rely on is the little donation boxes they place at coffeeshop drink stalls etc. If you have a dollar to donate, think carefully who you want to donate to. There are many people out there who needs our help; my heart goes out to the kidney patients, regardless of their support organisations -- NKF or KDF. It is important to know how our money is used to help the less fortunate. One can use 990 bucks to feed a family of four, and one can choose to splurge it on a tap. Of cause, as we all know, the latter just spells extravagance with a exclaimation mark. What a shame.


At 8:39 AM, Blogger siyang said...

Phil: Yea but The fucked up thing is not how expensive the prizes are.. its the way they entice people to donate, so as to stand a chance to win that car or condo, Here they are appealing to the "gambling hearts" of our Singaporean mentality who don't give a hoot about how their money is being used.

Victor: I guess they will have to go back a hundred years to using a well to get their water to prove their sincerity

JOnathan: I agree, I think NKF is rich enough... Since KDF supports the poorest of the patients, I feel that more can be done for them.... I doubt they have gold taps in their offices or a fleet of cars waiting in their front porch

LIp: You described other users for the $990 very well... they also have a pretty expensive toilet bowl.. makes me wonder what ever happened to conscience and humility

At 12:37 AM, Blogger Ed, Edd & Eddy !!! said...

Good work on the KDF. I thought they were affiliated with NKF too!

At 7:43 AM, Blogger elfonse said...

I'll certainly look into groups like the KDF too, now that Durai's moved on.

But then, I wouldn't bat an eyelid if the (new) NKF stuck with the capabilities / methods it has honed - it's job is to garner cash, and if it ends up getting gamblers' money, so be it. In fact, don't you think it's better? Money gambled away into nothingness (and the Tote Fund or the second Esplanade), OR money gambled away to the needy-afflicted?

At 8:45 AM, Blogger siyang said...

Ed Edd and Eddy: Surprised huh? I did some asking around... and the response I got about the awareness of KDF is disappointing, many of my friend's have never heard of it, some think it's linked to NKF or just recently (like me) found out about it.

Elfonse: Good point, .. I guess if the money is put to good use... many people won't care where it's from. It shows u how smart NKF is at tapping from different groups in the society

At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a matter of curoisity, why does the NKF needs 8 chauffered cars for the use of 6 officers?

If the CEO is so well-paid, what about the directors and staff? Shouldn't NKF let the public know the salaries n bonuses of their entire outfit?

I heard on the grapevine that an admin staff handling registration at the NKF earns 2K - any truths in this?

At 9:13 AM, Blogger Draven said...

I don't entirely blame durai for all of this, n i think its unfair that he gets the brunt of accusations, although i do think he got what he deserved for thinkgin he could sue anyone who offends him.
The board was what ALLOWED him to do what he did in the 1st place so i blame them for all of what has happened.
My only worry is for the NKF patients who are currently undergoing treatment. Think of what would be going thru their minds...

At 9:20 AM, Blogger jettykey said...

That's a very high salary for CEO of non-profit organisation. Shocking! My family has been pumping alot of money there!!

At 11:09 PM, Blogger siyang said...

Anon: They lack the trasparency, i bet if they have been letting us know how each and every cent is spent, the shock of learning that Durai's pay is 600K would not be that astonishing.

I still, however can't agree with the Taps and the cars.. tsk tsk.. I can't comment about the Pay there cos i don't know but I heard the building is fricking grand

Draven: I guess the board is equally resposible... but it's not just a matter of allowing him to do things. IT's taking advantage of what you are entitled to that dosen't sit well with me. How can u have the conscience to travel in 1st class with other people's money?... In the end it's the patients that suffer... and I hope they still get the aid they have already been receiving.

Anna: Exactly... maybe you can pump the money directly to the patients. It seems they subsidise only a fraction of the cost... which i think is very little


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