Thursday, July 14, 2005

ENEMIES NOT TO HAVE LESSON 1: The Straits Times

Taking any newspaper to court in Singapore is usually an exercise in futility; the move of an addled brain, of one so drunk with conceit he cannot see past the apparent slight made by the accused reporter, to the giant momma of a maneating machine poised behind her, waiting to grind him to pieces with newsprint.

The pen/laptop is mightier than the sword.

Mr TT Durai, you picked the wrong fight, mate.

The battle isn't over yet. In fact it's just begun. The first cut has been made, now everyone's going to step back and watch the bleeding. Once you whack ST, that'll be the end of you. That's the fun part about having only one print news body. You cannot win, if you still want to live on our isle.

If you want to take them on you better make sure you are Mama Lemon Squeaky Clean, which unfortunately Mr Durai is not, if Page 3 of ST today is accurate.

Mr Brown makes a great point: what about the board of directors that let him spend thusly? Was he not accountable to them? Will they stand up for him? It remains to be seen...

I know from my experience in the corporate jungle it's most likely Mr Durai will be asked to step down or relocate to another country (by business class) to live this down. Anyone recall President Devan Nair, who reportedly pinched bottoms in mid air and chugged heady fluids?

Actually I don't care that
* NKF has reserves for decades (in fact that's good)
* there may only have been 2000 patients, not 3000 as claimed by NKF
* He had a private car maintained by NKF that his wife drove
* He held directorships not revealed to NKF
* the list goes on

The man's career is over. He has been Glenn Knighted. I hope he saved some of that $1.8m he earned in the last 3 years. It should last quite a while, seeing that whole families live on $1000 a month. He's a clever man, he will come up with another business.

But my real concern is how the beneficiaries of NKF are going to be affected. Already it says that each year it costs NKF $31.6 milllion to treat its dialysis patients, but the patients pay about 75% of the bill, leaving NKF only $7.2m to take care of.

So with $189m in reserves, that could last 26 and a quarter years.

(It's GREAT business. But bad PR.)

But what about the patients? Without NKF, can they survive? Kidney failure is a lifelong problem. So say NKF has ZERO funds coming in after this. The $189m in reserves will be needed to help 2000 patients for the next 26 years (and I'm not counting inflation), and we can't count the new cases that are discovered every month.

Worst case scenario, NKF suffers a fatal blow, and patients have limited help. They seek other sources of dialysis, which may be more costly. Or they can't afford it, stop going, and die.

Best case scenario: NKF comes clean, changes CEO for an honest man/woman (how about a business-savvy doctor whose heart is with the patient?), and continues to champion aid for kidney patients. Of course, if fundraising continues on, it would also be good PR to up the current subsidy to 50% from a mere 25%.

Oh the thorny road of the social enterprise, the for-profit Do-Gooder. Makes my knees shake to ponder WMD's future. Only by God's wisdom can this job be done effectively and free from corruption. It's a tough road to take.

9 Comments:

Blogger elfonse said...

Sigh. I pray that the public (especially the pissed part of it) can still keep their heads clear to champion the Best Scenario you cited.

11:59 PM

 
Blogger spyboy said...

there's more than one organisation helping kidney patients. Check KDF, they even have their financial statement posted online. Btw, they only have 20 staffs vs 900+ as compared to NKF, do the maths..

12:04 AM

 
Blogger vandice said...

Great article. Picking the wrong guy to fight.

Then again, the job's tough. And only by God's wisdom can this be achieved.

12:23 AM

 
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