The Facebook post by Ho Ching deriding public announcement of donations is all the more baffling when you consider that her husband Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has done it on at least two occasions.
In a 2012 statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, it was announced that PM Lee would donate $350,000 for three community causes – Prime Minister’s Social Service Award, Prime Minister’s Valedictorian Award and Community Initiatives Fund under the People’ Association.
Prior to this, when there was a hike in ministerial salaries in 2007, PM Lee also publicly announced that he would donate his own salary increase to charity for a period of five years.
Given this backdrop, what’s the point in Ho Ching saying “there are lots of folks who donated and continue to donate quietly, without making any public announcement”?
Since her husband has made public announcements of his donations, he surely cannot be counted among those “who donated and continue to donate quietly.”
What’s more, donations are more overt when they are intended to reflect and acknowledge the benefactor – such as Prime Minister’s Social Service Award and Prime Minister’s Valedictorian Award.
Ho Ching’s Facebook post came in the wake of Workers’ Party chief Pritam Singh announcing his donation of half of his salary as Leader of the Opposition.
Are we seeing a case of double standards? When the opposition does it, there must be an ulterior motive, there is more to it than meets the eye. But when the establishment does it, it is in the name of transparency and keeping the public informed.