Saturday, December 16, 2006

Charity tells why CEO gets salary of only $7,100

If Dr. Lee is really inclined to helping the less fortunate, he should not be drawing such a high pay when there are volunteers who are not even paid a single cent for their involvement in charitable events. Is he working on a full time basis?

Dec 13, 2006
Charity tells why CEO gets salary of only $7,100

I THANK Mr Wang Tiancheng for his letter, 'Bar charity staff related to boss from high posts' (ST, Dec 9).
Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society (THKMS) CEO Dr Lee Ngak Siang's total pay is $7,100 per month - $2,100 from the Moral Home for Disabled and $5,000 from the Moral Home Help Service - West. He is not paid for any other positions or by any of our other agencies.

If Dr Lee's monthly salary appears low for an organisation like THKMS, it is because we made it a point that a senior position like that of CEO should not be paid a high salary. We want the CEO to treat his job partly as a volunteer and therefore his pay should be low.

Among our 10 policies on the recruitment of a CEO are the following:

The CEO must have good experience in grassroots work and preferably have experience in managing grassroots or VWO agencies.

He must be able to work as a team and abide by three prohibitions - no name, no gain and no fame.

He must be dedicated to serve the poor, disabled, aged and the needy.

He will approve expenses put up by the service agencies but shall not have the power to sign cheques.
We have put in place procedures to avoid conflict of interest or to resolve potential conflict situations. Good governance is the key.

As far as possible, THKMS and the Society of Moral Charities (SOMC) base their governance and management policies on National Council of Social Service guidelines and other government requirements.

Our CEO manages the day-to-day activities of THKMS and SOMC. Matters of policy and finance are decided by the Exco. Dr Lee is not a member of the Exco or management committee of both organisations.

Should there be any potential conflict (so far there has been none), our policy has been for the person involved to abstain from discussing the issues and also to abstain from voting on the issues.

Where recruitment of people with close relationship to committee members is concerned, the board member, staff or volunteer is to make a declaration of such relationships, and refrain from influencing the decision. Such a person shall not vote on any decision.

Additionally, paid staff, including the executive head and senior staff employed by the two societies, are not allowed to serve on the management committee.

Lee Kim Siang
Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society and Society of Moral Charities


Edmund Ng,
CEO, President
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