Retired businessman gives another $500,000 to ST fund

Retired businessman Loh Kiong Poot presenting a cheque for $500,000 to Mr Warren Fernandez, chairman of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, at The Straits Times newsroom yesterday. Mr Loh, who also gave $500,000 to the fund last year, said he
Retired businessman Loh Kiong Poot presenting a cheque for $500,000 to Mr Warren Fernandez, chairman of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, at The Straits Times newsroom yesterday. Mr Loh, who also gave $500,000 to the fund last year, said he hopes to make this a yearly affair.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

He follows up on first donation of the same sum last year to School Pocket Money Fund

Mr Loh Kiong Poot, who decided to give back to help those in need after he retired, donated another $500,000 to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF) yesterday.

The 75-year-old retired businessman made his first donation, also of $500,000, to the fund in August last year.

He now hopes to make this a yearly affair, he told The Straits Times.

Mr Loh presented a cheque to Mr Warren Fernandez, the fund's chairman, at the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) News Centre.

Said Mr Fernandez, who is editor-in-chief of SPH's English/ Malay/Tamil Media Group and editor of The Straits Times: "We are very grateful to him for being so generous. He is amazing; so down to earth and willing to share what he has with others.

"It is also great that he recognises what the fund is doing to help young children, and it encourages the team to keep doing the work that they do to benefit the kids."

Mr Loh has also donated to charities and orphanages in Thailand and Vietnam. He has also willed a large portion of his assets to medical institutions like Singapore Chung Hwa Medical Institution and Singapore Thong Chai Medical Institution.

 
 

He remembers how he had to struggle to make ends meet when he was young.

He told ST that his parents divorced when he was a boy. When he was 14, he quit school and ran away from home. He took on odd jobs to support himself until he joined the police force at 19.

TIME TO GIVE BACK

Now I have the money, and it is time to give back. I, myself, don't spend very much, and I live very simply.

MR LOH KIONG POOT, retired businessman.

Later, after he got married and had three young children growing up in a small two-room flat, he decided to go into business to give them a better life. His trading business did well, and he was able to retire about 30 years ago.

Mr Loh said: "Now, I have the money, and it is time to give back. I, myself, don't spend very much, and I live very simply."

Since 1991, he has been giving to charities and supporting the less fortunate.

STSPMF started in 2000, providing pocket money to children from low-income families whose per capita gross monthly household income does not exceed $625.

Since then, the fund has helped more than 170,000 cases of children and youth in need and disbursed a total of $68 million. Funds raised go towards school pocket money disbursements and support of the social and educational development of these beneficiaries.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2019, with the headline 'Retired businessman gives another $500,000 to ST fund'. Print Edition | Subscribe