15 April 2018

100% of Donations go to Charity?

This morning when I went shopping for groceries, I was approached by this friendly young lad asking for my time to listen to him, as usual I was very skeptical when a stranger approach me, usually they are insurance agent, or property agent or just outright asking for money or cigarette.

I listened to him since I was smoking, so he had as much time as my stick of cigarette burn. He is representing this Special Olympics Asia Pacific to publicly solicit for donations, and the money will go to helping people with special needs, he also gave me a leaflet showing people with down syndrome taking part in sports.

And then finally he asked for donations in way of monthly contributions or one-off payment, I laughed because I totally expected it. Anyway I told him I don't have any confidence in donating because long ago I helped NKF source for donations end up they misuse funds, some more I collected from friends and colleagues so end it's like I'm scamming them. Ever since that time I have 0 confidence in any such publicly sourced donations.

So during the conversation, he told me 100% of what he collects will go to charity, then I asked if he is a volunteer and he said no, he also said nobody will volunteer for such things. He also mentioned that the charity will pay his company. Ok. So since his company and him are getting paid, so how will 100% go to charity then? Very conflicting and misleading.

I also did a search on acra, found that this Special Olympics Asia Pacific is actually a company so they are required to do financial reporting every year. So as you can see it's like one hand in one hand out, this company help charity collect donations from public, maybe like what this lad say they give 100% to charity, however the charity will pay the company for their services, so when the charity balance their accounts, they don't ultimately get 100% of collected funds, I guess maybe 50%, 30% or even less nobody knows.

So if really want to help charities, might as well just donate directly to them, but beware your donations still won't be 100% going to those in need because the charities also have to pay for their own expenses, then again actually charities also receive heavy funding from government ministries, agencies or funds so I'm not very sure why they still need to ask for donations. Not all charities publish their financial statements though, we can look at one from Down Syndrome Association (Singapore).

DSA 21st Annual Report 2016 - 2017

Go to page 54 for their financial statement.

Their total income for 2017 is $2,482,166.

Their total expenses for 2017 is $2,545,001.

So they are in deficit of $62,835.


One super glaring item is under their expenses, "Salaries, bonus and allowances" is already $1,288,974, that's already 50.64% of their total 2017 expenses.

Another glaring item is "Trainer salary & allowances for programmes", $183,600, that's 7.21% of their total expenses, so this don't fall under "Salaries, bonus and allowances"? Private trainers and private programmes?

This one also very strange, "Education mentor expense", $108,308, also not part of "Salaries, bonus and allowances"? Also private mentor? Private programmes? That's 4.25% of their total expenses.

Another questionable item is "Utilities", $28,646, so since they have so many type of expenses already, what is inside this "Utilities" expenses? That's 1.12% of their total expenses.

So 50.64 + 7.21 + 4.25 + 1.12 = 63.22%.

If donate $10, $6.32 will go to paying for "Salaries, bonus and allowances", "Trainer salary & allowances for programmes", "Education mentor expense" and "Utilities". Actually the donations help the staff of the charity more than the special needs people.

As for fund raising, actually it doesn't look so bad, fund raising income is $1,389,765, the expenses is $189,790, so actually they are doing very well.

But best still just donate directly to them.

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14 April 2018

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11 April 2018

Stay Home Alone Order Foodpanda!

Today worked late so tired to buy or cook so order from foodpanda, pay by card, send to house, eat, throw, simple no hassle.

But one person order a bit too much food, eat until so full and have leftovers.

08 April 2018

Hotel, Villa or Resort?

Just got news that my MIL and wife's two young cousins also want to return to Bangkok after our Udon trip, so I think two rooms will not be enough. So I'm looking at hotels.com, booking.com, agoda.com and airbnb, so many options, still have no idea what to book.

Airbnb looks kind of sucks, it's definitely got the cheapest options among all but most are apartments and looks boring, it's like going there and then stay in a house where the locals stay, kind of pointless. My mother stayed in one during a trip to Bangkok a few years back, she told me the apartment was filthy, I wasn't surprised because it's an apartment, they probably don't provide proper daily cleaning.

Anyway I'm leaning towards a proper hotel or resort, but hotel feels too urban, kind of pointless if I'm trying to get away from our own urban jungle, so maybe a resort or villa? Villa is probably most expensive among all, looked at a few but don't like, feels kind of remote, it's like a bungalow by itself in a remote area, probably not very convenient. Then resorts looks kind of old, hmmm, maybe I'll just go with a proper hotel, in terms of amenities hotels probably have the best among all.

Ok hotel that is, a proper hotel.

07 April 2018

Bought Air Tickets to Thailand

This time bringing my parents along, it has been 5 years since they last went, so this time I made it a point to bring them there again to meet my MIL and family, actually my parents also very looking forward to it, few days ago told parents they were very excited, especially my father.

So today I settled all the purchase of the air tickets, haven't book hotel though because not sure where we want to stay. By the way wife and baby already there at MIL house so go only buy tickets for me and parents.

SIN to BKK - $255.30 for me and parents.
BKK to UTH - 5805 Baht for me and parents.
UTH to DMK - 4991.50 + 1732.60 Baht for me, wife, parents, baby, MIL and wife's cousin.
BKK to SIN - 14025 Baht for me, wife, parents and baby.

So total around $1373.74 as of today exchange rate.

Update on 14 Apr 2018:

Final air tickets charge in bank statement, total $1406.13:

Also booked a nice modern hotel (Ibis Bangkok Siam) very near to MBK, booked 3 rooms total $736.96 + $269.42 = $1006.38.

For spending money I changed 59000 Baht for $2494.70. This is to cover expenses of 5 adults and 2 children.

Grand total air tickets, hotel and spending money is 1406.13 + 1006.38 + 2494.70 = $4907.21

01 April 2018

Recontract Mobile and Broadband

Just now went to Starhub to recontract my mobile line with iphone 8 and broadband to fibre 1Gbps with a free linksys router.

The phone is $606 with the XS plan, end up they charge me for $750 but later I checked again actually their mistake, went back and got a refund of the amount overcharged. I think the Starhub website pricing can be quite confusing, it says new line have $150 off, but don't know if the quoted price is already $150 off or further can discount, maybe that's why me and the counter staff got confused. Anyway end up paying $356 for the phone. I trade in my iphone 6S for $200 + a $50 voucher.

The iphone 8 feels smoother and a bit lighter, quite cool but other than that don't see much of a difference, but the camera looks nicer than 6S.

Then for 1Gbps only $39.90 with a free router that comes with 3 antennas, the model is EA7500, very easy to setup.

Wife and Baby Go Thailand

They took the early morning flight so woke up damn early to send them, now alone at home quite boring, at least have baby she will run around keeping the house lively.

So they probably go for one month or so, May then come back, maybe try to find some time off work go visit and bring them back, take a break, everyday work also sibei sian.

Now at work super busy so not sure if I can get any off sigh.

21 March 2018

Maybe Going to Thailand

Wife next month go back home, bring baby with her, thought she going to do heart operation but end up doctor advise to do later, maybe want to try drag a few years or until really serious symptom then operate.

Anyway I not sure I can go or not, now is busy period so many shit to oversee, if can end of April go fetch them back.