On Tuesday (28 July), Workers’ Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh announced that he will be allocating 50 per cent of his salary as Leader of the Opposition – a new official political position in Parliament – to assist low-income residents, other charitable causes, as well as his party’s community programmes.
Following this announcement, CEO of Temasek and wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on her Facebook page on Wednesday (29 July), “There are lots of folks who donated and continue to donate quietly, without making any public announcement.”
“Some folks make public announcement of part of their donations, and still maintain privacy on the rest of their regular donations.
“Other continue to donate anonymously. Yet others put their donations into their wills,” she added.
Mdm Ho whose remuneration remains a state secret, also said that “not all are angels”, noting that some people will “scheme to get money from others in their families, or friends, some by stealth, others by outright manipulation and cheating”.
To these people, only some may be caught by law, she noted, before concluding her post saying, “Everyone has to answer to their conscience, the Almighty, and their karma in time to come.”
There was one netizen who commented on the post that he thinks charitable acts are ‘cheapened’ when they are made public to score political points. However, another person replied to ask if that includes the donations made by PM Lee from the sale of the Oxley Road property.
Back in 2015, PM Lee transferred ownership of the 38 Oxley Road property bequeathed to him by his father, late Lee Kuan Yew, to his younger brother Lee Hsien Yang at market value, according to various news reports.
Both brothers then each donated half the value of the house to charity. The value of the donation is however unknown.