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Overwhelming Response To SPH’s Appeal For Aid To Tsunami Victims

SINGAPORE, 30 December 2004 - Thousands of people thronged Singapore Press Holdings’ headquarters in Toa Payoh North today with generous donations of cash and kind in swift response to a public appeal from the media company for aid to the tsunami victims.

As early as 7 am - two hours before the collection opened - they started streaming into News Centre with bags and boxes of clothings, medical supplies, canned food and packaged food. By 10.45 am, some 400 vehicles had dropped off the relief items.

Scores of others also came forward to donate cash, with some children handing over their piggy banks containing weeks and months of their savings. Besides cash donations which went into tin cans provided by the Singapore Red Cross, SPH received a total of 553 cheque donation amounting to $532,611 on behalf of the Red Cross. The biggest donation was $100,000 from Hup Seng Huat Co. Ltd, a hardware company, followed by $50,000 from Da Vinci Collection Pte Ltd.

Throughout the day, fleet of lorries, vans and buses brought in cartons of relief items, ranging from medical supplies, such as surgical masks, vitamins, wound dressings, blankets, bottled water and juices, biscuits and instant noodles.

Many also turned up to help with the packing and loading, joining a small army of staff volunteers from SPH in the covered carpark of News Centre, which was piled high with a mountain of clothings and other relief supplies by the end of the day. A group of students of Manjusri Secondary School also chipped in.

Several transport companies provided lorries to transport the boxes of supplies to the drop points for free. For example, Comfort DelGro Group sent three buses and five taxis to help in delivery while DHL Danzas Air & Ocean, a logistics and freight forwarding company, sent a 40-foot container last night. It will continue to send containers to News Centre daily until the week-long relief effort ends on 7 January 2005, as well as deliver the donated items to the relevant government agencies of all the affected countries.

Others which provided free delivery were Campaign Cleaning Services, Nafa Cleaners, Longshot Company, Poh Tiong Choon Transport, and grassroots bodies like Toa Payoh North RC Zone 2 and Bishan North CC Management Committee.

Mr Alan Chan, CEO of SPH said: "We are deeply touched by the outpouring of public response. Their generosity - in cash and kind - exceeded our expections. Many people have also come forward willingly to help. This is indeed very heart-warming. SPH wants to thank everyone for their contribution and strong support in our humanitarian and relief effort. Their overwhelming response shows that Singaporeans are a compassionate lot, with a big heart."

In response to calls from relief agencies for cash donations than kind, SPH urged the public to stop sending clothings blankets, shoes and sheets to its collection point and donate cash, medical supplies and food instead.

"Cash is the most practical contribution as the money can be used to buy the much needed items in the disaster countries. While the other relief supplies are appreciated, they add to the logistical problems of transportation and delivery," said an SPH spokesman.

News Centre is open for collection daily from 9 am to 6 pm until next Friday (7 Jan).

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No: 198402868E

For more information, please contact:

Irene Ngoo
Assistant Vice President
Corporate Relations
Singapore Press Holdings
DID: 63191216
Fax: 6319 8150

About Singapore Press Holdings
Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading news and information provider, offering quality content for print, Internet and radio. It publishes 13 newspapers in the four official languages and 63 magazine titles. Everyday, 2.78 million individuals, or 90 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of the SPH publications. Its Internet Business Unit manages the online editions of SPH’s major newspapers and magazines, which together enjoy some 300 million pageviews a month. SPH also operates two UFM 100.3 FM in Chinese and WKRZ 91.3 FM in English,
under a joint venture company UnionWorks with NTUC Media.