Keppel sets up foundation to channel charity efforts

UP TO $50 million will be committed by Keppel Corporation over the next decade to its new charity foundation, which was launched yesterday.

Called Keppel Care Foundation, it will provide assistance for the needy, promote education, and encourage environment-friendly practices.

Dr Lee Boon Yang, chairman of Keppel Corporation, noted yesterday that with the group's growing businesses and worldwide presence, there was a need to sharpen its focus and organise its efforts for worthy causes.

"Hence, we decided to establish a foundation to provide a more structured and sustainable framework for the group's corporate social responsibility work at home and abroad," he said.

The foundation disbursed its first donations at the launch at the University Cultural Centre, which was attended by Keppel employees and guest of honour, former president S R Nathan.

Cheques totalling $6.7 million were given to three organisations - the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), and Singapore Polytechnic.

The money will fund at least six programmes at the three institutions. They include bursary awards for SUTD students, scholarships for the poly students and visiting professorships at NUS.

The foundation's board comprises Dr Lee, Keppel chief executive officer Choo Chiau Beng and Mr Teo Soon Hoe, Keppel's senior executive director.

Mr Chee Jin Kiong, who is Keppel's director of group human resources, will double-hat as the foundation's chief executive officer.

Yesterday's launch also saw Keppel employees put up a fund-raising concert to celebrate Keppel Offshore and Marine's 10th anniversary.

They raised about $365,000, which will go to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and the Association for Persons with Special Needs.

TESSA WONG