Thu, Sep 04, 2008
The New Paper
S'pore event, why give to China charity?

By Benson Ang

CHARITY begins at home, they say. But should it also remain at home?

SGX will, for the first time, allocate part of the funds raised by Bull Charge 2008 to the China Youth Development Foundation (CYDF), a government-affiliated welfare group in China.

The Charge, now in its fifth year, will be held at the Padang on 24Oct.

SGX, a public-listed entity, is the stock exchange in Singapore, which has more than 700 listed companies on it.

Last year's event, then called The Bull Run, raised $3.5 million, which benefitted 14 charities.

The CYDF introduces education to rural, poverty-stricken areas in China. It targets dropouts, poor children and children of poor migrants who have escaped the notice of the city government.

It launched Project Hope in 1989 to ensure that the children have the opportunity to attend school.

Why a China charity?

Said a SGX spokesman: 'The Bull Charge has benefited from the generosity of overseas listed companies over the last four years.

Chinese listed companies

'To date, Chinese companies have formed the most significant group of contributors. Thus, for our first overseas charity, we selected one from China.'

Li Heng Chemical Fibre Technologies, a Chinese company listed on SGX, contributed $100,000 to the event, according to The Business Times, one of the partners of Bull Charge 2008.

The other partners are Central Singapore Community Development Council, Channel NewsAsia and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

This year's run will also benefit 18 Singapore charities, such as the Autism Association and Sunlove Home.

Most people The New Paper spoke to were supportive of the decision to include the Chinese charity.

Mr Teo Cher Koon, managing director and president of ISDN Holdings, a public-listed engineering company, said: 'I believe that SGX may be trying to create more attention for Singapore businesses in the Chinese market.

'Although China might look rich, it is still poor in terms of its per capital income.'

Still, at least one has questioned SGX's decision.

A consultant, who only wanted to be known as Mr Yeo, is sceptical.

He said: 'The Chinese are so rich, and don't need the money. The old man in Telok Blangah might benefit from it a lot more.'

Other businesses, while supportive, are hesitant of SGX's decision.

Said Mr Clifford Tan, 55, a restaurant owner: 'I'd be supportive if I know the money is used for the right purpose. But behind the scenes, how do we know what's going on?

'It's just that China is so far away.'


Photo: SGX chief Hsieh Fu Hua (right) at the launch of Bull Charge 2008 in June.

This article was first published in The New Paper on Sept 2, 2008.


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