Temasek Holdings, the holding company of many of Singapore’s state-owned enterprises announced that they would be setting up a trust to institutionalise its ‘corporate citizen’ role in Asia.
This was widely seen as a response to the adverse publicity and negative image generated during the recent case involving the sale of Shin Corp in Thailand. However, Temasek was quick to deny that the establishment of its Trust was related to the recent controversies particularly in relation to its purchase of Shin Corp inThailand. Instead, the Trust is said to have been in the pipelines since 2003. Nonetheless, Temasek is unlikely to shake off the perception that the establishment of the Trust is in part to ameliorate its image in the region as its regional investment increases.
The S$500 million trust will support four non-profit organisations, including a new Temasek Foundation which will invest in education, healthcare promote better governance and support disaster relief. The other three organisations are Singapore Technologies Endowment Programme (Step) which facilitates regional youth exchanges and outreach; Singapore Millennium Foundation (SMF) for research scholarships and Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL) for life science research.
Temasek’s Chairman, S Dhanabalan explained, “We have decided to institutionalise our corporate citizen role by establishing the Temasek Trust. This signals our larger commitment to play a constructive role in the continued progress and success of Asia and people in Asia.” Temasek has committed itself to disbursing up to 4 percent of its endowment funds annually.
The news has been widely reported in the other regional media, though most have relied on reporting from international newswires. Interestingly, the Bangkok Post did not include suggestion that the establishment of the Trust was related to Temasek’s purchase of Shin Corp. (17 May 2007)
Temasek’s Gift Back to Society (Today, 17 May 2007)
Temasek Launches $500m Trust Fund For Asia (Straits Times, 17 May 2007)
Temasek Pledges $500m to New Fund For Asia (Business Times Singapore, 17 May 2007)
Corporate Citizen Temasek Puts $500m into Asia Trust (Business Times Malaysia, 17 May 2007)
Temasek Sets up S$500mil Trust (The Star Malaysia [from Reuters], 17 May 2007)
Temasek Launches Asia Trust Fund (Bangkok Post, 17 May 2007)
“Corporate Citizen” Temasek Puts 331 mln dlrs into Trust Fund (Agence France Presse, 16 May 2007)
Singapore’s Temasek Sets up Trust to Promote Asian Development (Jakarta Post [from AP], 16 May 2007)
Temasek Launches Charitable Foundation Trust Targeted at Asia (Japan Economic Newswire, 16 May 2007)