On Oct 11, life came to a standstill for 51 stallholders when a fire destroyed a wet market and coffee shop at Block 493, Jurong West Street 41.
Over two weeks later, about $280,000 of the $600,000 needed for a temporary market had been raised, with plans to have it up and running by Chinese New Year.
Out of this amount, $200,000 came from 11 businessmen, with the largest donation from property developer Oxley Holdings.
The company, helmed by executive chairman and chief executive Ching Chiat Kwong, contributed $50,000, according to Lianhe Wanbao.
Mr Ching made his debut on Forbes' Singapore Billionaires list in 2014, but was left out of this year's list in a trend of property magnates failing to make the cut.
My Paper speaks to the businessman about charity and giving back.
1. WHAT MOVED YOU TO DONATE $50K TO THE TEMPORARY MARKET FUND?
The fire accident at Jurong West wet market was an unfortunate one.
I understand that the wet market may take a while to be rebuilt and the continued earnings and livelihoods of wet-market and coffee-shop stallholders are affected and at stake.
Families of the stallholders will also be similarly affected by the unexpected fire event.
I sincerely hope that the donation will help to alleviate the difficult transition that they are facing.
2. WHAT IS YOUR VIEW ON PHILANTHROPY?
I always believe that sharing is caring and through donations and participation in charity, I hope to be able to contribute to the well-being of society.
3. WHY DO YOU GIVE BACK TO SOCIETY?
We give back to society as we believe in contributing to the overall betterment of society, and through donation, we hope to be able to bring wellness to those in need.
4. WHAT ARE THE CAUSES YOU BELIEVE IN?
I believe in causes to provide betterment to those who are displaced arising from environmental disaster or those who are from disadvantaged backgrounds.
For us, we would be more than happy to prioritise helping in disaster relief, to provide assistance to the elderly and the young and the less financially well-to-do.
5. HAS ANY OF THE AFFECTED HAWKERS APPROACHED YOU TO THANK YOU?
So far, I have not been approached.
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