Media Release | 20 Mar 2009
When it is more blessed to give than to receiveGreat Eastern's Top Achievers forgo recognition to give to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund
Singapore, 20 March 2009: To celebrate their achievements, Great Eastern's top achievers took an unprecedented initiative to donate $100,000 to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund. The top Senior Director of Financial Services, Mr Harold Ng, represented the Great Eastern Life Achievers Club to present the cheque to Mr Peter Khoo, the organising chairman of the fund.
The cheque presentation was witnessed by Great Eastern's Group CEO, Mr Ng Keng Hooi and Managing Director (Singapore), Mr Tan Hak Leh.
It is a well-established industry practice for insurers to honour their top achievers every year by placing recognition advertisements in both the main English and Chinese newspapers. These advertisements usually run up to five or six pages. Like all the other financial practitioners in the market, Great Eastern's agency force look forward to seeing their faces in the recognition advertisements. It is a well-deserved acknowledgement of a year of hard work; a testament to their stellar performance and professionalism as a financial adviser.
Mr Ng Keng Hooi, Group CEO of Great Eastern, said: "In 2008, our agency force ranked number one in terms of new business production. We garnered the lion share of nearly 26% of the industry's new business via the agency channel. Our agency force remains one of the most productive and is the fastest-growing in the industry. It's great to see that they have chosen to forgo their recognition to give to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund. Despite the challenging year ahead, they have not forgotten the less fortunate; they are living up fully to our mission of making life great!"
He added: "Our core business is in protecting families, in ensuring that the family is financially provided for in the event something unexpected happens to the breadwinner. It is therefore especially poignant to learn that some 9,000 children go to school without any pocket money. This is surprising, especially in a developed country like Singapore. Our hearts go out these children; I'm very happy to know that with this $100,000, some of these children will have enough money to buy breakfast or lunch for themselves."
Every cent makes a difference
Children of Great Eastern's agency force pool their own pocket money to give to the STSPMF
To make the donation even more meaningful, the agency force has taken a further initiative of involving their primary school-going children. A charity drive was carried out to encourage their children to also donate to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund. Some 15 of the children came to the cheque presentation ceremony to drop their contributions personally into the Collection Box.
Mr Harold Ng said: "This is an excellent way to inculcate in our young ones the value of giving to the less fortunate. Our children have no worries of going to school hungry. With more breadwinners losing their jobs, it is timely to remind our children to have compassion on their friends who are less-privileged. I am touched by the children's readiness to part with some of their pocket money."
Harold's youngest daughter, 12-year old Rachel Ng, was one of the children who came to participate in the cheque presentation ceremony. She said: "I didn't know that so many children in Singapore have no pocket money when they go to school! I am glad my father brought me here today and I am happy to play a part in helping these children."
Mr Peter Khoo, Chairman of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, said: "Charities like The ST School Pocket Money are hit by a double whammy during these tough economic times. The donations are down while the number of beneficiaries rises with unemployment. So on behalf of over 9,000 needy children, thank you Great Eastern for your most generous and timely donation. It is even more heartening to note that the Great Eastern agency force has also involved their children in fund-raising.''