Thanks to TheStar 6/3/2011 Sunday Edition, found the article in The Star Focus, thought it would be good to write a thought or two =) It's always good to see "The Giving Pledge" which is initiated by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet have been getting some billionaires across the Globe. And recently Tan Sri Vincent Tan also join the Pledge to give back at least half of his wealth back to the Charity means, which fortune estimated at US1.25 bill.
But i think i am admiring people who give so much ever since the moment they started earning. and best of all, really low profile. As stated by Mark Zuckerberg himself "People wait until late in their career to give back. But why wait when there is so much to be done?" I agree. Is it because reaching certain of age and then we feel we just have too much cash and don't know how to use it and just throwing at one spot and feel good about it? I don't feel that's the Gift of Giving. We give because we know others need it. We give because it's not about earning other people respect but to respect other people.
A few good example is Tan Sri Robert Kuok, Unknown to many, The Kuok Foundation has set up in 1970 and has disbursed RM157mil in study loans, grants and scholarships then. As at end of 2009, more than 7500 awardees have completed their studies. Look at the impact. Education.
Telecommunications magnate Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan, helped the 1985 Live Aid rock concert project that raise US$240mil around the world for African Famine Relief. He has donated millions through education, arts, sports and humanitarian causes in Malaysia through his own privated owned holding company, Usaha Tegas and it's three main listed subsidiaries, Maxis, Astri and Tanjong.
Puan Sri Lee Kim Hua, the widow of Casino magnate Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong at the number 3 spots. IN 1978, Lim set up Yayasan Lim, a family foundation that donates regularly to educational and medical institutions, old folk's homes and others. The group REALLY contributed to many other groups in 2009.
Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, who ranks no 8 in the rich list and estimated worth RM7.6 bil set up the AilBukhary Foundation which funds the AlBukhary International University in Kedah. The foundation did beyond Malaysian Borders as well.
So these are just few of the examples which are worth mentioning and i believe many others more. You actually wonder most people actually help more in Education field, future generation i guess? much worth to invest in? That's the power of Education, changing the mind instead of just throwing a bunch of Money to who knows, some greedy people?
So the whole message here is simple. The Gift of Giving is not about how much you give, but how sincerely you give, and you FEEL them who need it. Put yourself into their shoes, know what they really want, definitely not money actually. because you give, because you care and love for them. It's not hard to give. All it takes is to open up and be honest and think as this World as a much bigger place and you are not here permanently =)
I want to give too =) I've been giving i guess =) Not Money, but it can be something better. True, money can be important, but when people see you give, it's your heart that is more important =)
BELOW IS THE NEWSFEED.
Some of Malaysia’s richest individuals have been quietly supporting philanthrophic causes.
HOW much are our super-rich worth? And are they giving back to society?
According to Forbes Asia, which released its 2011 rich list on Thursday, Malaysia’s top 40 richest individuals increased their wealth by 22% over the 2010 list. Their total fortune? A staggering US$62.1bil or RM188,320,000,000!
The number of digits alone is enough to make us ordinary folks sit up and take note. While many Malaysians still dream of making that first million or are still struggling for our bread and butter, our super-rich have zoomed far ahead.
Last week, Berjaya Corporation Bhd founder Tan Sri Vincent Tan pledged to donate at least half his wealth to charity through the “The Giving Pledge” campaign that was initiated by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, his wife Melinda and investor Warren Buffett.
Tan, a self-made entrepreneur who made it to the ninth spot on Malaysia’s rich list with a fortune estimated at US1.25bil (RM3.8bil), may well be the first billionaire outside America to openly make the pledge. (see story on Page 20)
So far, 59 billionaires in the United States have officially signed the pledge, an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families to commit to giving the bulk of their wealth to philanthropic causes and charitable organisations of their choice either during their lifetime or after their death.
The world’s youngest billionaire and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who is said to be worth US$6.9bil, signed the pledge last year. The 26-year-old entrepreneur believes it is a mistake to wait “when there is so much to be done.”
Others who have made pledges include New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Oracle founder Larry Ellison, Star Wars director George Lucas and CNN media mogul Ted Turner.
While not all our billionaires have openly pledged to give away their fortunes, a number of them have been quietly involved in philanthropic causes, some for decades.
Philanthropy is generally seen as a private matter in the Asian context, says Dr Yeah Kim Leng, chief economist of Rating Agency of Malaysia (RAM).
He believes that in Malaysia, some wealthy individuals have contributed substantially to philanthropic causes but kept a low profile.
A simple Google search shows that most of those on the Forbes list have channelled substantial sums to charity organisations or set up foundations for the poor or needy students.
“They are publicity shy because in Asian culture, contributions must be seen to come from the heart. I think it’s a personal choice we should respect,” says Yeah.
And with all philanthropists, it’s always the case of “giving back” to society. While each country has different needs, Malaysian philanthropists tend to focus on education and related causes of improving oneself. Tan himself set up The Better Foundation Malaysia in 1997.
Vincent Chin, the partner and managing director of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Malaysia says that in America, the tradition of giving back to society goes back to the days of oil magnate John Rockefeller.
“There is great understanding that society has given you a lot and you have the responsibility to give it back,” says Chin who is also BCG’s regional leader of philanthropy work in the Asia-Pacific region.
Datuk Ruby Khong, President of Kechara Soup Kitchen (KSK), however believes there is a tendency for many wealthy people to keep their fortunes within their families because of traditional and cultural beliefs.
“Our forefathers left their homeland to earn a living and they believed that every single cent is important. Tan’s gesture sets a precedent which hopefully, others will follow. People need someone they can relate to and emulate,” she points out.
Khong also hopes that people will look at Tan’s pledge in a positive light instead of questioning his motive.
Whatever the case, there is definitely a need for funds, says Josie Fernandez, director of Philanthropy Asia.
She points out that there are many overcrowded orphanages and homes which have to rely on the services of volunteers instead of full-time staff.
“The need for philanthropy will be greater in future with escalating prices,” she notes.
In other parts of the world, philanthropic activities centre on the greatest needs of that society as well as the passion of the giver, says Chin.
For instance in poorer countries, philanthropic contributions are often directed towards providing shelter, food and clothing whereas in richer economies, causes like the welfare of animals, the arts and culture gain attention. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how the money is utilised as long as it is channelled to the needy.
Chinese businessman Chen Guangbiao, 42, for instance has pledged to donate his entire fortune to charity when he passes on and leave nothing for his descendants. Worth RM2.35bil, the father of two has donated RM635mil so far.
For Chen, wealth is like water.
“If you have a glass of water, you drink it yourself. If you have a bucket of water, you keep it in your house, but when you have a river, you have to learn to share it,” he said in an interview with StarBiz last year.
Passing down fortunes from generation to generation can do irreparable harm. In addition, there is no way to spend a fortune. How many residences, automobiles, airplanes and other luxury items can one acquire and use?
Herb and Marion Sandler, former Co-CEOs of Golden West Financial Corporation and World Savings Bank
“People wait until late in their career to give back. But why wait when there is so much to be done?”
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg
Ridiculous yachts and private planes and big limousines won’t make people enjoy life more, and it sends out terrible messages to the people who work for them. It would be so much better if that money was spent in Africa – and it’s about getting a balance.
British entreprenuer Richard Branson
Is the rich world aware of how four billion of the six billion live? If we were aware, we would want to help out, we’d want to get involved.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates
“If you’re in the luckiest 1% of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99%.”
American industrialist Warren Buffet
My father used to say, ‘You can spend a lot of time making money. The tough time comes when you have to give it away properly.’ How to give something back, that’s the tough part in life.
Lee Iacocca, former president and CEO of Chrysler Corporation