Thursday, 28 June 2012

Racing, hunting and chasing money but this money is not your grandfather’s money.

         The five colors blind the eyes of man; 
The five musical notes deafen the ears of man; 
          The five flavors dull the taste of man; 
          Horse-racing, hunting and chasing madden the minds of man; 
         Rare, valuable goods keep their owners awake at night.
        Therefore the Sage: 
       Provides for the belly and not the eye. 
       Hence, he rejects the one and accepts the other.

Chapter 12 The Senses, Dao De Jing translation by Lin Yutang$$$

Easy money likes colours; musical notes and flavours can make you lose your senses.  Suddenly there are so many donations, and it makes one feel like winning a lottery and forgetting the source and duty.  The money now becomes their own property and they feel like they can spend it likes their grandfather’s money.    

However, charity money or donation is not your grandfather’s money. When organisations are trusted to collect this money or donation, they have to remind themselves no matter what methods they use, whether racing, hunting or chasing, this money is not their money.  They cannot use the money likes their grandfather’s money.  

Unfortunately, there are too many instances that the charity money and donations have been misused likes the grandfather’s money. And the reason for such a misfortune is always lack of ‘check and balance’, ‘accountability’, ‘transparency’ and ‘"poor corporate governance’, etc.

What do you think? We may have to ask who allows charity bodies or religious groups to use public/members’ money like their grandfather’s money in the first place.  If there is no ‘check and balance’, ‘accountability’, ‘transparency’ and ‘corporate governance’, then how do they get their registration approved?

Perhaps, the PAP government is using the same standard and criteria for themselves. The criticism for the lack of check, accountability, transparency or governance is also applicable to the PAP – the questions of CPF money, reserves, GIC and Temasek.  Have we received any satisfactory answers to these questions?  Even our President has to refer to the Monetary Authority of Singapore whether he has approved a loan to the International Monetary Fund.    

Trust and transfer of duty

Under the no welfare policy, the PAP government has actively promoted charity groups to take up social activities to help the needy, poor and disadvantaged persons. Hence, religion, clan, association and other self-help groups have actively engaged in these activities with encouragement of the government.  

So, you can see donations to charity everyway.  With the support and approval from the government, these groups are trustworthy organisations.  With no threat to the government, in the eyes of the PAP, they are more reliable, more trusted to carry out the duty of caring for the poor, sick and needy citizens.  The government even co-funds the activities or gives tax relief to donations to these organisations.    

No only supporting them in fundraising, in donation campaign, the government even encourages social enterprises - doing business for the good of the society not purely for profit.   
So, there are more monies for ‘racing, hunting and chasing’ from charity to social enterprises.  When the government gives them the ‘trust’ status and transfer the duty of caring to charity organisations and social enterprises, they find the difficulties in checking them.

This is because the PAP finds the same difficulties in checking themselves.   The more money they have, they are more likely to lose their senses of colours, musical notes and flavours in the money world.

The recent cases of breach of trust and abusing trusted money are not isolated incidents.  They are the reflections of our society and our country.   So, how can we find our way of heaven? Chapter 81 of Dao De Jing may provide the answer.  

81.  The Way of Heaven

True words are not fine-sounding;     Fine-sounding words are not true.  A good man does not argue;     he who argues is not a good man.  the wise one does not know many things;     He who knows many things is not wise.The Sage does not accumulate (for himself).     He lives for other people,     And grows richer himself;     He gives to other people,     And has greater abundance.The Tao of Heaven     Blesses, but does not harm.  The Way of the Sage     Accomplishes, but does not contend.

Translation by Lin Yutang

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