TCM charity clinic gets $1m donation

Above: President Tony Tan Keng Yam handing a token of appreciation to Sheng Siong supermarket boss Lim Hock Cheefor donating $300,000 to Sian Chay at its charity gala dinner on March 19. With them is Sian Chay chairman Toh Soon Huat.
Above: President Tony Tan Keng Yam handing a token of appreciation to Sheng Siong supermarket boss Lim Hock Cheefor donating $300,000 to Sian Chay at its charity gala dinner on March 19. With them is Sian Chay chairman Toh Soon Huat.PHOTO: SIAN CHAY MEDICAL INSTITUTION
Mr Kenny Lim (above), who donated $1 million to Sian Chay on Wednesday.
Mr Kenny Lim (above), who donated $1 million to Sian Chay on Wednesday. PHOTO: SIAN CHAY MEDICAL INSTITUTION

Private investor's contribution brings sum raised for Sian Chay this year to nearly $8m

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) charity clinic, Sian Chay Medical Institution, has raised nearly $8 million in donations so far this year, after receiving a $1 million donation on Wednesday.

The donation, from private investor Kenny Lim, 55, was presented at a ceremony at the Pan Pacific Hotel, witnessed by Acting Education Minister (Schools) Ng Chee Meng.

Cheques for $233,806 and $50,000 were also presented by a group of executive Master of Business Administration graduates from the National University of Singapore and food court operator Koufu respectively.

The latest donations add to $5.8 million raised through donations and the auction of artworks given by well-wishers at Sian Chay's charity gala dinner earlier in March.

The money from the NUS alumni group and Koufu will go towards the renovation of Sian Chay's new clinic in Punggol North, which is expected to open next January.

Mr Lim, who was appointed a director of Sian Chay recently, said he gave $1 million - on behalf of his family and his biggest donation to a charity - because he supports the free TCM consultations and nominal fees for medicines provided for the sick and the needy.

"It is also done to continue the legacy of my late father who taught me the need to help the less fortunate in society."

His father Lim Ho Gee, a fisherman who moved here from China and became a successful petroleum-related products businessman, died about 10 years ago, aged 83.

Mr Lim also promised to spend 30 per cent of his time helping Sian Chay expand its network of clinics to 20 by the end of 2018.

Sian Chay chairman Toh Soon Huat, 56, said its present 11 clinics need an annual operating budget of more than $5 million, and when the number of its clinics increases to 20, will need at least $8 million a year to run them.

Mr Toh said the 115-year-old TCM organisation was operating just one clinic in Geylang with about 3,000 patients a year in 2008 when he took over as chairman.

Today, he said, it has grown to a network of 11 clinics and wellness centres all over Singapore. Two new clinics in Ang Mo Kio and Marsiling will open in August and October respectively.

"We are expecting about 345,000 patients coming for TCM treatments, including acupuncture and tuina, a Chinese therapeutic massage, by the end of this year," said Mr Toh. He aims to raise Sian Chay's reserves from its present $5 million to $20 million within the next two years.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2016, with the headline 'TCM charity clinic gets $1m donation'. Print Edition | Subscribe