The case of Madam Pusparani Mohan ("$1m gone in a year: Widow is now broke"; Sunday and "Disbelief and anger over 'squandered' donations"; Tuesday) serves as a timely reminder that proper guidance or procedures should be in place to handle public donations.
It is commendable that Singaporeans lend a helping hand to those in financial need, especially in tragedies involving the loss of the sole breadwinner.
However, when public donations are not put to the intended use, they may do more harm than good to the recipients.
Before parting with our money, we should check if donations will be properly handled and not squandered.
There should be an organisation to aid in handling the donations to ensure proper financial planning is done before releasing the monies to the recipients.
Alternatively, public donations need not be in the form of hard cash despite this being the most convenient and direct form of assistance.
Donations can also be disbursed in monthly payouts to pay for groceries, school fees, public transport, housing rent or loans, utility bills, and so on.
In this way, the public donations collected will serve their intended purpose.
Lim Lih Mei (Ms)
This article was first published on June 12, 2014.
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