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NKF - Investigations into allegations

Source: www.gov.sg

ROUNDING-UP SPEECH BY MINISTER FOR HEALTH, MR KHAW BOON WAN ON THE NATIONAL KIDNEY FOUNDATION, 21JULY 2005 AT PARLIAMENT SITTING

An Excerpt

"All Members have called for a full and thorough investigation. As Dr Amy Khor put it, many questions remain unanswered and public unrest should be addressed. We certainly intend to do so.
"Dr Khor suggested that a committee of inquiry be convened to look into the matter. The Commissioner of Charities has the powers to initiate such investigations. But due process must be observed. The Commissioner must first establish clear evidence of wrongdoing, which includes getting the charity¡¯s side of the story.
"At the end of the day, it is the substance of the investigations that matters, and not the form, whether it is called a commission of inquiry, an investigation or independent audit. We are all committed to finding answers to the many questions raised by Singaporeans and getting to the bottom of this matter. That is what counts.
"The new Board has appointed KPMG to do an independent review. Let us give them time to work on this thoroughly, away from the public glare and emotions, so that assessment can be made objectively and calmly. All the questions that I asked in my statement yesterday will be addressed. Their findings will be made public.
"The various Government agencies are comfortable at this point to have the new Board lead the investigation into past practices. Knowing them, I know they will get to the bottom of the issues. Precisely because of the high standing and reputations of the individuals serving on the Board, this House and the public can feel confident that their review will be full, thorough and that sound judgement will be applied.
"In the course of the review, if it is found that laws have been broken, the relevant authorities will certainly step in. I fully agree with Mr Tan Soo Khoon that any wrong-doers must face the law. If there has been any criminal act, the law will take its course. If there have been poor judgements, they will be acknowledged. If there are systemic flaws, they will be fixed.
"As I said on July 14, I do not condone fraudulent practices. But we cannot conclude, a priori, that there were criminal acts on the basis of what has been published to date. We are a law-based society. Let us follow the due process.
"Let us also try to look at this issue from the perspective of Mr Durai¡¯s family. His daughter emailed the Prime Minister. Let me quote a few lines from her email. She is a young student in JC but very mature for her age. She wrote: ¡°I was adversely affected by this fiasco¡±. She added: ¡°Since I was young, my father had very little time to spend with us¡­I always asked myself why my father had no time for us. Were we less important to him than his patients? Was his work more important than us?¡±
"She went on to ask the PM: ¡°after the review by the new board, you will help him to restore his reputation and honour¡±, if no wrong doings were found?
"From the media report on the man, Mr Durai looks to me to be an arrogant man. His achievements are real and significant. But may be the ego and arrogance went to his head, leading to poor judgement and insensitivity.
"I think there are lessons for us here. No matter how great our achievements are, we live for others. Look at the late Mr Hon Sui Sen. There was no ego in the man. He completely personified humility. Likewise the late President Wee Kim Wee and hence the huge outpouring of emotions at his funeral. President SR Nathan is another such humble man who has done great for society, but remains his past self.
"I scanned through the local media today. I could not help noticing the different spin the Straits Times put to the MPs¡¯ speeches yesterday, compared to all the other local media, like TODAY and ZaoBao. Let us hope arrogance has not also gone to the head of the victor in the Court case."

Full Text of Speech

Source: www.gov.sg Press Release 21 Jul 2005

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- KPMG submits its report on NKF to the new NKF Board
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- New Board and CEO for National Kidney Foundation (NKF)

- Police advisory on NKF suit

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Thursday

21 July 2005