Where are our rich donors?

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By Tan Bah Bah

This Sunday, Hongkong actor Chow Yun Fat will be celebrating his 59th birthday.   We wish him many happy returns of the day.

At the same time, we also wish that Singapore has celebrities like Chow who has managed to live a  relatively low-profile existence away from the glitz of the entertainment world. This makes his decision to give a large sum of money back to the community rather remarkable. It was reported three months ago that Chow will be donating S$164 million to charity.

Perhaps his second wife, Singaporean Jasmine Tan, has something to do with his down-to-earth philosophy. They have been married for 27 years and he considers Singapre his second home.

Chow joins kongfu actor Jet Li, another Asian superstar, in being a role model. Li has set up One Foundation.

According to Li, “The concept of One Foundation is that we are one global family and together we can overcome any challenge or disaster.”

About S$60.4 million was earmarked for projects to help the victims of last year’s Lushan earthquake in China.

Where are Singapore’s|Chow, Li and Bill Gates?

Where are our newly rich and famous?  Why are they keeping their wealth within their family so tightly?

The number of billionaires in Singapore has gone up, going by the latest listing compiled by Forbes magazine.

Sixteen made it to the billion-dollar club as of this month, up from only 10 last year.
The 16 include true-blue Singapore citizens  and do not count residents with other citizenships such as Brazil-born Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, Forbes told The Straits Times.

“I feel that the money does not really belong to me. I am just in charge of keeping it temporarily I will definitely donate it all. I will give it to charities that need it the most,” Chow said.