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Technology geekery. Linux Kernel hacking. Millionaire dream. Liverpool fan.

NKF CEO Earning Public Donations

filed under News

NKF's defamation suit against SPH opened yesterday. Thanks to NKF, we finally know where our donations are going to. And every single Singaporean were shocked yesterday to hear that CEO TT Durai earned 1.8 million dollars in 3 years. 12 months bonus last year! And every single cent came from public donations. Some people couldn't even earn this much after working for decades and they still donate to NKF. Couldn't he just forsake some of his bonus and donate them? What about the rest of the board members? We really need transparency and public accountability from NKF. How can Mr Durai prefer to keep his salary private?

I donated 100 bucks to NKF this year and I'm still an undergraduate with minimal earnings. I want my money to go to the needy and not for buying some stupid gold tap or buying "business class" air tickets or for some other stupid reasons.

If you've read the Straits Times yesterday, you have every reason to be mad with Mr Durai. He was simply avoiding every of SPH's Senior Counsel Davinder Singh's questions. For simple yes or no questions, he forked out a whole lot of stupid reasons and just avoided answering them. They have to stop playing games with the public and tell the truth. Mr Durai did fly first class, I don't care which airline or whether it's cheaper. Chairman Richard Yong revealed that senior executives fly business class for long-haul flights. This is not true. And I believe that there are more matters in NKF that the public does not know.

This is extremely cruel to the people who really need these donations. After this public scrutiny of NKF's administration, some people may think twice before donating now. We simply do not know who we are donating to. Unless NKF accounts for every single cent it gets from the public, I would choose to donate to other charity organisations instead.

12 months of bonus is outrageous. I'm signing this petition to remove TT Durai, CEO of NKF, from his position. I urge many other Singaporeans to sign this petition if you think that Mr Durai is breaching our trust.

Sign the Petition

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7:03 PM

Mr. Durai is just a scape-goat, a puppet. Why he was drawing so much and a bonus of 12 months? To prepare him to answer for what happened and his future!!! Didn't he said during the trial that his priviledges were approved by the board of directors (someone(s) very powerful)? By the way, who are the directors??? NKF stands for Natianal Kidney Foundation. National? National? National? Trigger something? Forget it, just make sure u don't donate in future.
However, I think the Indonesian, Philipinos and others can learnt something from here.    

8:22 PM

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.    

8:26 PM

Thanks for commenting. Yes, I get what you mean by national. Apparently, our Senior Minister's wife Mrs Goh is siding with Mr Durai. She mentioned that 600K is peanuts, but it's a hell lot of money for most Singaporeans. Even though her words may not mean anything, there's still a certain level of governmental influence on this matter.

I will definitely donate once NKF accounts for every single cent it receives.

By the way, are you from Indonesia or Phillipines? Or are you local?    

8:27 PM

I think it is outrageous behaviour of Mr. Durai to be less than totally transparent and factual with how he has spent public donations. I have totally lost faith with NKF.

I think it is high time NKF searches it's collective soul, how the board of directors reward themselves using public donations. I can't help feeling this is another case of the few rich and powerful feeding off the masses of cash strapped working class.    

10:24 PM


(English - The soothsayer said that my successful life is built by the dealth of many others)    

11:54 PM

This is not peanuts MRS GOH... THIS IS OUR HARD EARN MONEY GIVING FOR A GOOD HEART.... You are out of ur mind.... Your earnings is peanuts not ours..... YOU own us an apology!!!!    

8:42 AM

Mrs Goh's comment is really uncalled. Given her position as a parton and SM's wife, she should not said $600,000 is peanut. For her she may have a whole bag of peanut but for us we give what we can to help the poor and the sick.

Read Mark 12:42-44    

8:50 AM

The public should know that every year there is a patient review on their fees. They will be review by their family total income. If your children is working there will be an increase on your fees. Why should they as children not give to their parents for pocket money instead of NKF increase their dialysis fee. How about the Midishield which the govt. increase from $800/- to $1000/-? There is no reduction of fees but they maintain the extra $200/- as dialysis fees. Do you think this is fair for some young patients who are struggling to support his family of four.    

12:30 PM

Thank you guys for commenting. Well, Mrs Goh shouldn't have commented about the 600K. But I guess she cannot totally side with us on this matter. People may think that the government is not supporting NKF too, and the patients will suffer. I'm sure NKF will account for all their money very soon. I'll donate once I know where my money is going to. We have to think about the patients too. They still need our help.    

2:36 PM

I ageed with the those comment like our SM Mrs.Goh shuoldn't the 600K is Peanuts. She should read Mark 12:42-44 (Bible), now we know her true color" as she express her view". Didn't she doesn't know most of the ordinary S'pore is making less than 1.5k to 2K averege. Struggling so hard to foot our high cost of living.To her is PEANUTS" but to most us is Striking Lottery or Toto.Pls think b4 commenting those hurting sensistive words (Peanuts).    

3:04 PM

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.    

3:16 PM

For those who said earning 600K is Peanuts" My concern to them (May Almighty bless them especially " when they are taking or eating Peanuts or Peanuts Butter)don't get Choke" to death with it. Do some soul searching" read Mark 12 " verbs 42 to 44" AMAN    

3:17 PM

12months bonus - if I can keep my job safe and by end of the year with 1 to 2 months additional bonus, I will be very happy, now I'm so envy the staff from NKF to have such a high income and bonus.    

3:18 PM

Mrs Goh shouldn't said $600K is peanuts. It is all hard earned money from the people and they have to slave thru lots of peanuts shells to provide peanuts to NKF/Durai's salary. For $600K is peanuts to her, what would she think or comment that some of the donations is anything less than $600K. What would she call if a person's donation is $5? A speck of dust? It makes me wonder if she appreciates public donations of $5 and anything less than $600K? If it is peanuts, how much did she donate? If she did donate, is it more than $600K? I doubt it! It is true to see her true colour!    

3:23 PM

S$600K is peanut for Ms Goh, but for a normal average income (S$1.5K to S$2K)like us in Singapore, beside strike lottery, we not even able to smell it.

Very disappointment to hear such comments from her.    

4:56 PM

No more 1900-xxx xxxx - enough is enough unless Mr TT Durai QUIT!!!!

I am a sole bread winner and I always take "pain" to donate even if i don't have enough - I skip meal for a week each time I donate.

If my donation goes to the needy, I am okay but if my donation goes into Mr TT Durai salary + 12 months bonus, I rather don't skip lunch.    

8:45 AM

I guess everyone has their point. Its interesting to read someone else's thought and find yourself agreeing upon it.
This incident has made us think, that yah, nothing in this world is fair. Not to the one begging in the street in Africa, not to the patient that needs dialyisis treatment, and maybe not fair to you, the very donor that contribute 50 cents out of your few dollars allowance.
And we must agree that this unfairness is out and about everywhere, its certainly not constrain to solely NKF, don't u agreed? If we were to flip and dig all charities, don't you think there are more T T Durai (s) out there?
For me, it would be to just do the right thing, at the right time, to the right ppl, THROUGH the right hands. Do charity, with a heart, not just throw some money and expects to go to heaven. That, i think is crucial, :) my 3 cents' worth.    

1:51 PM

i not been reading the news lately.. but i heard abt this nkf thingy.. so.. correct me if i'm wrng.. have a few question.

1> who set up nkf? as in founder n the boss? durai?

2> I presume... many business man such as MNC n big orgainsation earns like $20k mthly.. since.. NKF is not a business but a charitable organistaion. wat u think his pay shld be like?

3> who decides his pay n bonus? is CEO the biggest? n y is it $20k n the reason for it?

Anyway.. i feel.. its a management thing.. No doubt we feel cheated.. but the patients r innocent.. so lets see if the system gets more transparent.. we donated in the past cos we know n sympathise the patients.. so y let these guys affect us.. n pledged nv ever to donate again?

i feel that flying busniess class is alright.. he's a ceo.. n the fact is most senior management takes business class for long trips.. to me that's not a great issue..

but. to think of the lavishing decor he use.. its not right.. those gold are unneccsary without a doubt..

to have a huge reserve.. is ok.. anyway singapore as a country have plently of resevrs anyway.. but we r still paying tax arent we.. saving for a rainy day is not wrong.. since we know that it can last for 30 yrs.. does that means we dun have to donate for 30 yrs? think again..

oh another question..

4> 30yrs? aft subsidy? if so.. who pays for the subsidy?

anyway.. y not subsidise more? im not sure if the patients need to pay n how much even with the help of NKF.. but if they have to pay.. with that kind of reserve.. y not make them pay lesser?

hmm.. again.. i would like to plea for those who strongly object to donating to reconsider... u did it with a gd heart.. Knowing the truth may hurt us now.. but.. nv regret wat u had done..

*might have said something wrng.. or give incorrect info.. but.. do forgive n correct me thx ^^    

1:52 PM

don't know if Mrsgoh herself receives something from NKF    

2:28 PM

Singaporeans are upset over Mrs. Goh's comment that Mr. Durai's $600k salary was a peanut. However, everyone should cool down and think deeper what she really meant. Perhaps, she is trying to say "give peanuts, you get monkeys."
Of course, for most of us, we cannot even afford a peanut of our own. Our donation is insificant in the context of NKF's CEO salary. Perhaps, in this case, we should ask Mrs. Goh to donate a few peanuts to NKF. Afterall, it is only peanuts. I am sure a few peanuts to someone of her status is even less significant than peanuts.    

2:31 PM

Singaporeans are upset over Mrs. Goh's comment that Mr. Durai's $600k salary was a peanut. However, everyone should cool down and think deeper what she really meant. Perhaps, she is trying to say "give peanuts, you get monkeys."
Of course, for most of us, we cannot even afford a peanut of our own. Our donation is insificant in the context of NKF's CEO salary. Perhaps, in this case, we should ask Mrs. Goh to donate a few peanuts to NKF. Afterall, it is only peanuts. I am sure a few peanuts to someone of her status is even less significant than peanuts.    

2:34 PM

The answers to your questions:

1. The founder is definitely not Durai. He's the Immediate Past Chairman Dr Khoo Oon Teik. You can get these information from their official website.

2. I'm not particularly mad at his salary, but rather the 12 months of bonus he receives. But I guess the salary package of NKF's board members should be on par with other charity organisations.

3. His pay and bonus have to be decided by the board members.

4. I believe they should subsidise more too. But, it's still up to their decision.    

3:18 PM

Let us sit back and think who are we donating the money to.....

Who are we donating the money to?
The sick who has difficulties to pay for their medical.

Who are they paying to?

So NKF is asking the public to donate so that the poor can pay them (NKF) for their treatment......

So who is the big bully here? NKF!!!    

3:22 PM

Hello All,

I guess by now we should who is feeding the monkey or the monkeys...and not knowing that it is overweight now....and simply release it back to the wild.

Any meaning??? We have very smart people here willing to buy high price peanuts, perhaps higher than oil prices man....

If you still don't get it, think harder...

Clue: Who keep the most expensive peanuts?    

4:10 PM

$600,000 is peanut.

No wonder NKF think nothing in installing $900 over tap - it must have been "nose-shit" to them.    

10:19 PM

You can sign a a petition if you think Mrs Goh owes an apology to all Singaporeans on her senseless comment about $600k being just peanuts.

1:35 AM

NKF-U treat the sporeans as suckers to feed all you peanut fellows instead of fully subsidise the patients, we have to subsidise the first class air ticktes, 12 mth "justifiable" bonus, 25k "justifiable"monthly pay and 8 mercedes....etc... An investigation not an apology is needed to uncover the whole thing. There's a conspiracy theory! Better don't waste your time and money next time on charity. Its all a load of crap!

Mrs Goh - 600k is not rupaih but sin dollars..and definitely not peanuts to many average sporeans who is still making ends meets paying for all the housing installments over 30 over years and other commitments like kids school fees , holding on to rice bowl in the midst of economic changes to make that kind of money...its a terrible insult to the working class people making contributions

Please just ask the big condo sponsors to sell the unit and donate instead of asking the sporeans to donate on ch 8 or ch u shows ...hmmm come to think of it....thanks for making us so naive and wake up to our bloody idea!!!    

12:08 PM

I had thought NKF provide kidney dialysis for a nominal fee. But from what I read in the paper, it costs more than 10K a year for a patient under NKF's 'subsidised' treatment. Just how many of us can fork out 10K per annum for the medical?
We should all guit donating to NKF. It has gone 'upmarket' with corporate fleet of limousines and gold plated toilet for the CEO who 600K pay is peanut.
There is this outfit call KDF(Kideny Dialysis Foundation) or something which claims to provided cheap dialysis. I am not sure how true it is and I actually turned down their request for donation.
Maybe those who wish to resume donating to NKF after brothe Cow has cleared up the Durian shit should take a look.
As for me, Durian shit or not, there will be no more NKF, though I will try KDF.    

9:17 PM

Mrs. Goh Chok Tong's now infamous "peanuts" remark reminds me of how the French Queen Marie Antoinette once suggested "why not just let them eat CAKE?" when she was told how the peasants were starving. It just goes to show how stupid she is, for if the poor peasants can't even afford bread, where can they find the money to buy cake? The story goes that upon hearing this, the poor peasants were so mad that they eventually beheaded the King and the Queen. By calling T.T.Durai's $600,000 salary "peanuts", Mrs Goh has displayed a total lack of understanding of the plight of the average Singaporean. Shame on you, Mrs Goh.    

10:03 AM

Shame on u Mrs Goh!!!!!! Even SM Goh have never ever belittle Singaporeans the way u did!!!!! Peanuts huh....??? u mean ur brains are like peanuts????? Shame on u!!!!!!!!!!    

7:25 PM

Hi again, im the girl with lots of question earlier..
i see that many wants Mrs Goh to step out n apologize..

1>will u forgive if she apologize
2>sorry no cure?

sometimes i wonder wat happens behind the scene in mr goh family?
Mr Goh must have been v stress over mrs goh stupid comment.. then mrs goh suddenly got scolded by many singaporeans.. haiz..

Im sure mr Goh is a smart man.. Y cant he think of the fact that 'people must answer for their own mistake' such a simple 'dao lee' oso dunoe.. he oso made a mistake himself.. T_T

Since Mrs Goh knows people want her to apologize in public.. Y din she do so?

1> scare she say the wrong thing again?
2>dunooe wat to say.. cos cant give a valid reason to support?

To think abt it.. Singapore have been so peaceful.. so u government should be v glad.. Imagine such words comes from a leader in some countries.. Im sure there would have been serious riots.. maybe even invade ya house.. with tons of people protesting in the streets.. Maybe even overthrow ya pariliment.. n fear of being shot to death.. T_T

Moral of the story:
Think before u talk..    

9:28 AM

'Golden tap scandal' turns on rare outpouring of public anger in Singapore

SINGAPORE, July 17 - In Singapore, where public protests are banned and the
government has tamed the media, it took an unlikely golden tap in a luxurious office to turn on a rare outpouring of widespread community anger.

Singapore's biggest charity, the National Kidney Foundation, was the focus of the outrage last week after an attempt to avoid scrutiny over its chief executive's lavish perks and 600,000-Singapore-dollar (350,000-US) salary spectacularly backfired.

The saga began when the foundation and its chief executive, T.T. Durai, sued the Straits Times newspaper for defamation over an article published last year that raised questions about how donors' money was being spent.

They claimed the article, which said a 1,000-dollar gold-plated tap had been installed in the private bathroom of Durai's office suite then removed after protests from the building contractor, had damaged the charity's reputation.

In his libel suit, Durai, who had led the foundation since 1992, said the implication that donors' funds were being misused was "scandalous" and "ridiculous".

However, Durai went to court apparently unaware the case would force him and the
foundation to reveal a wide range of facts and practices that the Straits Times' legal
counsel said the organisation had long tried to keep hidden.

During a torrid two days of questioning in court by the newspaper's lawyer, Durai was
forced to reveal his salary and that donors' money paid for his first-class flights overseas
as well as the upkeep of his Mercedes Benz.

Durai also reluctantly admitted the foundation had misled the public over how long its
reserves of 260 million dollars would last if donors' money stopped pouring in, as well as
how many patients it treated each year.

After finally conceding the original article about the tap was indeed not defamatory, a
defeated Durai on Tuesday withdrew the libel suit with his and the foundation's reputation in tatters.

On Thursday, after more than 40,000 people had signed an on-line petition calling for
Durai to quit and the government had expressed major concerns, he and the 15-member board resigned.

Prominent lawyer Tan Choo Leng, the wife of former prime minister and current Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, also stepped down as patron of the foundation after initially publicly backing Durai's salary.

It was an enormous come down for one of Singapore's highest-profile organisations, which was formed in 1969 and rose to become the self-proclaimed "largest not-for-profit (kidney) dialysis provider in the world".

An estimated two thirds of Singapore's population have donated to the foundation, which employs an aggressive, commission-based marketing model and regularly holds television donation drives featuring celebrities.

"This whole issue has been about transparency and accountability," 20-year-old national serviceman Lawrence Tan, who started the on-line petition after reading about the court proceedings, told AFP.

"The public has showed them a lot of support for a long time, it's only right they should
be held accountable by the public and that they should be more transparent."

But government critics say the "golden tap scandal" has generated so many expressions of anger from the community because it was also a rare opportunity for ordinary citizens to vent their frustrations at figures of authority.

-- Libel cases brought to silence crictics --

Aside from the online petition, there was also a blitz of letters to newspapers and
complaints on radio talk shows, as well as the foundation's head office being vandalised with graffiti.

"This is almost a surrogate situation. It's basically a reaction because they (the
community) can not speak out against the government," prominent opposition politician Chee Soon Juan told AFP.

"The government has basically got a lock on society."

Chee said the National Kidney Foundation could not operate without having close government links. Yet he said the charity was not a direct government body and was thus seen by the public as a "safe" target for criticism.

Chee said the issues of transparency, accountability and high salaries raised in the
National Kidney Foundation affair were also matters of concern for the public in regards to the government.

The People's Action Party, which has ruled since the nation's independence in 1965 and
currently holds all but two seats in parliament, has ensured government ministers in
Singapore are among the highest paid in the world, saying it keeps them from becoming

Another opposition group also said last week's charity saga raised broader questions about the use of public money by all government bodies.

"The public has the right to ask, and the equivalent right to a satisfactory answer, from institutions charged with the handling of public money," National Solidarity Party president Yip Yew Weng said in a letter to the government.

"These institutions include ... the nation's public offices."

In pursuing defamation action, the National Kidney Foundation also attempted to use a
tactic that senior Singapore government figures have successfully used over many years.

The career of Singapore's most famous opposition politician, J.B. Jeyaratnam, was
destroyed by defamation suits from the nation's founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, among others.

Fellow opposition politician Chee is also facing bankruptcy after losing a defamation suit to Lee and his successor, Goh Chok Tong.

While Lee and Goh have insisted the defamation actions are necessary and legitimate
actions to defend their reputations, Chee and others maintain the libel laws have been used to silence government critics.

In the National Kidney Foundation's case, the charity successfully won damages and
apologies from two people in 1998 who said Durai and other senior figures in the organisation had flown internationally on first class.

But in court last week, the defamation tactic ended up destroying Durai's career and the NKF's reputation after he admitted that he indeed flew first-class on foundation money. - AFP    

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