SINGAPORE, 3 January 2005 - Public donations for the tsunami victims at the Singapore Press Holdings’ collection centre has crossed $3.245 million, with the biggest donation of $500,000 from businessman Oei Hong Leong today.
Mr Oei handed his cheque to Mr Sia Cheong Yew, Straits Times’ Money Editor, who dropped it into the collection box at SPH News Centre in Toa Payoh North this afternoon.
His donation is the highest amount SPH has received so far for the Singapore Red Cross Society’s Tidal Waves Asia fund, since the media company launched its public appeal for aid to the tsunami-hit countries on 29 December 2004.
When contacted and asked what touched him to make the donation, Mr Oei said: "This is the saddest story of the year and this is the least I can do.’’
SPH collected $885,000 today, the fifth day of its relief effort, which has drawn thousands of Singaporeans and companies to its headquarters to make donations in cash and in kind.
The second biggest donation came from the Yio Chu Kang Grassroots Organisation, which donated over $50,000 in cheques as well as five tonnes of rice and 110 cartons of condensed milk worth over $8,000. This was followed by a $20,000 donation from the Singapore Futsing Association and $19,254 from Mr Tan Chwee Seng.
A middle-aged man, who identified himself only as "Mr Tan", walked into the donation booth and stuffed $20,000 of cash into the donation tin. He did not even want a receipt.
With today’s collection, the donations recieved by SPH so far have come to $3.245 million.
This afternoon, SPH handed the donations collected over the past four days to Singapore Red Cross officials at News Centre. They amounted to $1.934 million.
Red Cross officials also received another $226,564 from tin collection.
The huge cash pile from the 28 donation tins took 10 SPH and Red Cross staff nearly three hours to count. The collection included about $5,000 worth of coins dropped in mostly by children. Most of the donations were in $50 and $10 denomination, and included 12 $1,000 notes.
SPH’s Executive Vice President for Corporate Service and Corporate Relations, Mrs Sng Ngoi May, today also handed over the SPH’s cheque donation of $200, 000 to the Red Cross at News Centre. SPH staff, on their part, have so far donated about $35,000 to the relief funds.
On SPH’s fund-raising drive, Mr Jeffrey Chan, Vice Chairman of Singapore Red Cross, said: "We are grateful to the Singapore Press Holdings for raising $3.2 million so far
for victims of the tsunami disaster. This will go a long way in contributing to the Singapore Red Cross’ efforts to provide relief for victims of the disaster as well as to assist in the reconstruction for the affected communities."
Meanwhile, relief supplies continued to pour in from companies and individuals. SPH today collected another five 40-footer container loads of items, the bulk of them bottled water. Other items included canned and packaged food and medical supplies. In five days, DHL has collected 35 packed containers of relief from News Centre. The logistics and freight forwarding company will send the emergency supplies directly to the
affected countries and it is providing this service as part of its humanitarian assistance.
Some 70 soldiers from the SAF Army Logistics and public volunteers and SPH staff are helping in the SPH’s relief operations, which will continue until Friday, 7 January.
SPH has stopped accepting clothing as the relief agencies have more than enough of these. It urges members of the public not to bring clothing items to its collection centre, which is open from 9 am to 6 pm daily.
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About Singapore Press Holdings
Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading news and information provider, offering quality content for print, Internet and radio. It publishes 13 newspapers in the four official languages and 63 magazine titles. Everyday, 2.78 million individuals, or 90 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of the SPH publications. Its Internet Business Unit manages the online editions of SPH’s major newspapers and magazines, which together enjoy some 300 million pageviews a month. SPH also operates two UFM 100.3 FM in Chinese and WKRZ 91.3 FM in English, under a joint venture company UnionWorks with NTUC Media.