Wednesday, December 29, 2004
The Deafening Silence of Corporate Philantrophy
A rich (and usually bald) old gentleman who has trained himself to grin while his conscience is picking his pocket.
From the Devil's Dictionary
"Among corporate donors were DBS Bank and SingTel which pledged $200,000 each, and the UOB group, which is giving $300,000 in all while its chief executive Wee Cho Yaw himself gave $100,000."
From the Straits Times
As a source of donations, the biggest impact without doubt comes from Corporate Donors. For one, they have much more money than the average citizen. An average citizen with monthly pay of $2000 could not afford to give much, even if he/she is willing. With due respect to private donors, Corporate Donors, with their weath and size, can and do make a bigger impact.
For the biggest public listed companies in Singapore, Singtel (Market Cap: 40 billion as of May 04) and DBS Bank (Operating Profit for 2003: 1,386 million), $300,000 and $200,000 is by any measure, a measly amount.
It is also interesting to note that Optus, Singtel's subsidiary, is giving discounted phone calls to tsunami hit areas. (for Australian customers only). Does anyone think its gonna help the majority of people affected? People in South Asia?
Most listed Singaporean companies posted impressive profits and considering the STI index ,which rose 20% since last year, 2004 was a good year for most Singapore listed Companies.In contrast, the philantrophic response from Singapore Corporations for the disaster is dismal.
Seriously, how much is $200,000 when your profits are in the hundreds of millions?
DBS's Donation of $200,000 is 0.0015% of 1386 Million (DBS Operating Profits for 2003).
If DBS is a person with a yearly pay of $24000 , it would be akin to donating $3.46.
What a joke.
Can Corporate donors do better? Where is SIA? Creative?
It is no secret that most Singaporean Students are an apathetic lot.
A cursory read through the NTU students blogring, demostrate a hilarously obliviousness to the biggest earthquake in recent history. Some posts bemoan the lack of sleep, while others write the most inane details of their lives, while some, i don't know,read and draw your own conclusions, defy rational explantion. It is as if, to them,the disaster never happened.
if (i hope not) this blogring is a microsm of what university students in Singapore are, I feel really sad.