Retired businessman donates $3 million to 6 charities, including $500,000 to ST pocket money fund
SINGAPORE — Retired businessman Loh Kiong Poot has donated $3 million to six charities, including $500,000 to the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF).
Since 2018, he has donated the same amount to the fund each year, contributing a total of $2.5 million.
The other five charities, which received $500,000 each, are: Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, Chung Hwa Medical Institution of Singapore, Tzu Chi Foundation, SG Enable and Community Chest.
The 78-year-old said: “If you have excess money, why would you continue to keep it? If you can donate and help people, just donate. That’s my principle.
The self-made businessman, who in 2019 said he hoped to make the donation an annual affair, presented a check to STSPMF Chairman Lee Su Shyan and General Manager Tan Bee Heong at the SPH News Center in Toa Payoh on Friday. .
Ms Lee said: ‘We very much appreciate Mr Loh’s generosity towards the various charities. His donation to the ST pocket money fund will go a long way in supporting our beneficiaries.
Mr Loh decided to increase his annual donation to $3 million in 2022 after selling his landed property in Telok Kurau to live in a condominium in Bishan in October and have the extra money to give away.
“I have already reached old age and money for me is not important, so whatever surplus I have I will donate,” said the pensioner, whose son and two daughters are married and have their own children.
He hopes his deed can inspire others to donate as well.
“As a Hakka, I hope the new generation of Hakkas will be generous in donating money,” he said.
Mr. Loh never forgot his own struggles to make ends meet when he was young.
At 14, he left school and ran away from home. He worked odd jobs, sometimes as a salesman in grocery stores and bookstores, living on around $20 a month. His nights were spent in a small shop belonging to one of his employers.
Mr. Loh entered the trading industry in 1974 and grew his business until his retirement in 1990 at the age of 47.
Since 1991, he has donated to charities, orphanages and temples in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.