$500,000 donation to AFF, why was there a need for a “request to donate” letter?

I refer to Bill Ng’s statement to the media dated 18 April in response to the FAS’s statement earlier in the day.

The statement is reproduced in full below,

“Winston Lee seems to have conveniently forgotten the sequence of events which led to the donation of $500,000 made by Tiong Bahru FC to the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).

It was Winston Lee who met me on multiple occasions in 2014 to seek the donations from Tiong Bahru FC for a Football Management System to be developed for the benefit of Singapore football and ASEAN football.

At no point during these meetings was ‘a proposal’ ever presented.

What was presented by Winston Lee, however, was a letter which he had prepared, which he then directed me to reproduce using the Tiong Bahru FC letterhead to address to Mr Zainudin Nordin, confirming the ‘request to donate’.

It was in this letter that the term “AFF Football Management System” was first used. As such, all payment vouchers to the FAS thereafter by administrative staff of Tiong Bahru FC adopted this term.

I have never dealt with Mr Zainudin Nordin on the matter of the donation to fund the Football Management System at any point.

Again, and to reiterate, all discussions, and the “Request for Donation” came from Winston Lee.

When Tiong Bahru FC agreed to Winston Lee’s request for a donation, it was strictly on the basis that the money was to be used to develop a system which would benefit Singapore Football, especially our local clubs.

Winston Lee assured me that this was the case. Winston Lee and the former Council still owes the Singapore Football fraternity answers to all these questions.

  • The money donated by Tiong Bahru FC was supposed to benefit Singapore Football. How has the AFF Football Management System benefited Singapore football?
  • Former Council members like Zulkifli Baharudin has said that he is completely unaware of this donation which was made to the AFF. How is this possible given that the cheques were banked into FAS accounts, especially when charity and IPC guidelines state that external donations must be cleared by the Council.
  • Can Winston Lee, who sits on various AFF committees, provide an update on this Football Management System since he was the one responsible seeking donations for it?
  • Can former Exco Council members in the Team LKT slate explain how $500,000 could have been paid out of their accounts to a foreign third party without their knowledge?
  • What does this speak of the level of governance in the FAS, particularly amongst the Council members who were part of the last Exco and who are currently in Team LKT?
  • Knowing that the $500,000 had been donated to the AFF for the Football Management System, which was supposed to benefit Singapore Football, how did Winston Lee follow up with the AFF to ensure its implementation?
  • Why does the FAS annual report of 2015 does not make mention of this donation at all.

Along with the affiliates, we still await these answers.”

After reading the above, I am even more puzzled.

If Bill Ng’s allegations are true – why would any organisation receiving donations – need a donor to sign a “request to donate” letter?

How many donors have ever given a “request to donate” letter in the history of this organisation?

Do other organisations with IPC (Institution of Public Character) status ask for or receive “request to donate” letters?

Has any IPC status organisations ever asked for or received in the history of Singapore – a “request to donate” letter?

What is the purpose or the reason(s) for a  “request to donate” letter?

Football fans in Singapore – what do you think?

This entry was posted in Opinion.