Estate donates $2m to ST School Pocket Money Fund to help kids

The family of a 39-year-old man has donated $2 million from his estate to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.

The sum, given in May, was the largest monetary gift to the fund, which The Straits Times started in 2000 to help children from low-income families defray school expenses such as food and transport. The man's family declined to be interviewed.

This donation is the third estate donation the fund has received in the past two years. Last month, the late Mr Wang Suan Mee's estate donated $136,317.73.

Last year, about $161,000 was donated from the estate of Ms Johanna Frederika Makkink, who was a regular donor to the fund before she died in 2016 at the age of 65.

ST School Pocket Money Fund's general manager Tan Bee Heong said: "We have seen an increase in planned giving for our charity for the past two years. This is uncommon as people usually do not want to think about death. However, this way of giving can allow a donor to consider larger gifts in support of a cause he believes in and to make a difference to the lives of the disadvantaged beyond his lifetime."

Said Mr Warren Fernandez, editor of The Straits Times and editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English/Malay/Tamil Media Group: "We are most grateful to these donors and their families for thinking of the ST School Pocket Money Fund as part of their legacy, or as a way to commemorate a special occasion.

"Their generosity will go a long way towards helping young children make the most of their lives ahead, by helping them overcome difficulties they and their families face," added Mr Fernandez, who is also chairman of the ST School Pocket Money Fund.

The fund has helped more than 170,000 children and youth in need and disbursed $68 million since 2000.


About $6 million is disbursed each year, helping about 10,000 students who come from families whose per capita gross monthly income is less than $625.

In 2013, the fund was extended from primary and secondary school students to include those in the Institute of Technical Education, junior colleges and polytechnics.

Over the years, donors have also made gifts to mark various life events. In 2014, Mr L. Venkataraman donated $8,100 of the monetary gifts he received for his son's wedding.

Last September, the parents of one-year-old Ananya Dalia donated $2,100 from gifts at her birthday celebration.

To donate to the fund or find out more, visit

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 26, 2019, with the headline 'Estate donates $2m to ST School Pocket Money Fund to help kids'. Print Edition | Subscribe