SINGAPORE – Donations worth $1.1 million were collected from the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) council members to aid communities in China affected by the coronavirus outbreak, SCCCI said on Monday (Feb 17).
These donations were made to the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) and were collected within four days after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Feb 4 that it is contributing $1 million in seed money to the SRC.
The Singapore Metal and Machinery Association, a trade association member of the SCCCI, also donated 3,800 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) to Singapore’s front-line medical staff serving in hospitals.
Tat Hong Group, a corporate member of the SCCCI, also contributed 10,000 surgical masks to the Republic’s front-line healthcare workers.
During the handover ceremony on Monday at the Trade Association Hub, SCCCI president Roland Ng presented the $1.1 million cheque to Mr Benjamin William, secretary general and chief executive officer of the SRC. Mr Ng also handed over the PPE to Dr Elaine Tan, projects director at the director of medical service office at the Ministry of Health.
“At a time of crisis, coming together in this manner is a key characteristic of the Chinese entrepreneur spirit. Since the Chamber’s inception in 1906, the Chinese business community has undergone many upheavals and trauma. But each time, the Chamber was able to rally our members and come forward to serve the community and contribute whatever we could,” Mr Ng said.
The SCCCI and 10 of its trade associations will also publish a poem on Tuesday, written by local poet Tan Chee Lay, who is also an associate professor in Chinese literature at the Nanyang Technological University.
The poem, written in Mandarin last Friday and titled As courageous As You, pays tribute to all front-line healthcare workers for their selfless acts of courage when dealing with the virus.
It talks about the feelings of fear and bravery front-line healthcare workers face, with courage exceeding fear.
Mr Ng told reporters in Mandarin on Monday that inspiration for the poem was drawn from how front-line healthcare workers were shunned as the public feared that they might pass on the infection.
“Writing a poem is a unique show of gratitude for their efforts on the front line. We translated the poem to English for healthcare workers of other races and this is our way of showing our appreciation and thanks to them,” Mr Ng said.
The public can also make donations via SCCCI till Feb 29. They can deposit their cheques made payable to “Singapore Red Cross Society” in collection boxes at the SCCCI office or 10 other collection points island wide. The SCCCI will send all the donations to the SRC for consolidation.