Friday, April 28, 2006

The End Or Beginning In Sight?

19 Apr 2004: The Straits Times published journalist Susan Long's report, titled "The NKF: Controversy ahead of its time?"

20 Apr 2004: Minister Lim Hng Kiang claims the NKF spends more than 80% of its funds on its beneficiaries, which is within the guidelines set for charities. He also sympathised with its 'dilemma' in whether to disclose the salary of its CEO, explaining that "If they don't, then I think there will be critics who say they are not transparent. If they disclose, I think there will also be critics who will say that whatever they pay will be too high."

22 Apr 2004: NKF sues Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Ms Long for defamation.

11 Jul 2005: The trial begins. Durais' $600,000 annual salary is finally unveiled as well as other sordic details, like his denial of first class air travel for which he successfully sued two Singaporeans for disclosing same. Among those in the gallery was NKF patron, Mrs Goh Chok Tong, wife of the Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.

12 Jul 2005: Durai drops his suit against SPH.

13 Jul 2005: NKF HQ building vandalised by graffiti in a remarkable demonstration of public outrage.

14 Jul 2005: Durai and the NKF board resign after meeting with Minister of Health Khaw Boon Wan. Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Dr Vivian Balakrishnan had earlier said the government cannot force any decisions on the NKF.

16 Jul 2005: Mr Gerard Ee, president of the National Council of Social Service, is announced as NKF's interim chairman and CEO. Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong told the press his wife, who is the former patron of NKF, regretted saying that the charity's ex-CEO Mr TT Durai's annual pay package of some S$600,000 was "peanuts".

18 Jul 2005: Ho Ching, ranked by Fortune magazine as the fifth most powerful woman in business outside US in 2004 and wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, writes a full page letter in the Straits Times calling for continued support of NKF.

20 Jul 2005: New interim NKF board introduced.

21 Jul 2005: Minister Khaw Boon Wan reads out TT Durai's daughter emotional appeal to PM Lee in parliament, pleading "to restore his reputation and honour, if no wrong doings were found". Khaw criticizes Straits Times coverage of the unfolding drama.

25 Jul 2005: Senior consultant dermatologist Professor Goh Chee Leok takes over as interim CEO.

18 Aug 2005: Interim NKF board calls in the police to investigate "certain matters of grave concern" involving how the old NKF was run.

19 Dec 2005: KPMG releases 322-page report on the old NKF and finding that only 10 cents on the dollar actually went to the patients.

21 Dec 2005: Khaw Boon Wan says that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has completed its investigations and he "will be pressing for charges to be made" as NKF had employed Indian nationals under false declarations, a criminal offence.

25 Jan 2006: Durai and former chairman Richard Yong are seen entering the COrrupt Practices Investigations Bureau (CPIB).

11 Apr 2006: The Busines Times reported that the NKF has hired law firm Allen & Gledhill to look into possible legal recourse against the former board of directors.

17 Apr 2006: Duai is arrested and called to CPIB to have charges read to him. Medical administrator Mrs Eunice Tay takes over as NKF's new CEO.

18 Apr 2006: Durai and former board member Matilda Chua are charged in court. Yong and former NKF treasurer Loo Say San are also expected to be charged.