Friday, September 24, 2010

Where The Money Really Went

Milan Fischer from Canada, 68, must have been one of the oldest YOG volunteers in the Olympic Village (the "Y" is for youth). defines a volunteer as "a person who does some act or enters into a transaction without being under any legal obligation to do so and without being promised any remuneration for his services". Taken to the medical room for a leg cramp on 20 August, Fischer was rushed to National University Hospital for first class treament (no queuing, no bed shortage). After a 4-hour open-heart treatment for an aortic dissection on 31 August, he remained in hospital until last Friday 17 September. He and wife Beata will be staying on at the Fairmount Singapore until next month. A coronary artery bypass in Singapore costs $13,000 minimum. Add various scans, surgical fees, anaesthesia, etc, and the tab easily totals up to $50,000 or more. We are told all medical expenses and lodgings for the long stay will be paid for by the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee. It will probably be buried in "Other Costs". But who authorised the expenditures? Can't be Ng Ser Miang, he's just a businessman always on the lookout for a profit opportunity.

The number may be peanuts to the elitist crowd, but it was Minister Lim Hng Kiang who, regretting the decision to save a baby's life, once said "...I regret making the decision because, in the end, the baby continued to be in intensive care, and KKH now runs up a total bill of more than $300,000..."

Meanwhile, other YOG volunteers found they were issued a counterfeit certificate of appreciation. Except for the optically challenged, anyone could see the signatures bear no resemblance to the scratchings of Jacques Rogge (President IOC) or Ng Ser Miang (President SYOGOC). Singaporeans face imprisonment for such criminal offence, putting someone's John Hancock on the dotted line. The official excuse offered is that "sample signatures" were sent to the printers, without disclosing by who, or how the handwriting was provided.


  1. Hmmm...I'm kind a curious. Where did you get this Milan Fischer story from? the Straits Times?

  2. Haha... some will go the distance jus to get a piece of paper of appreciation.
    How foolish should one be?
    Any way, genuine volunteerism means not expecting any kind of return and make no complaint or regret in doing whatever one offered to do most willingly.

  3. To Pecos Bill, u can also see the story here:

  4. thanks for the link.

    Part of the motivation for paying Milan Fischer's bill was to probably foster a generous image of Singapore amongst the foreigners. I wonder who finally authorised the payment for the bills?

    Taking care of folk left in the lurch is a sign of a nation's character and maturity. Doesnt matter if it is a foreigner or a baby in the ICU.

  5. "Taking care of folk left in the lurch is a sign of a nation's character and maturity. Doesnt matter if it is a foreigner or a baby in the ICU", unquote.

    Dear Pecos Bill;

    me would disagree with You that foreigners should be taken care of free of charge. It simply does not make sense in any way be it in Singapore or elsewhere. Every nation has a duty to care for their CITIZENS.