SINGAPORE: The presidential hopeful has raised just over $8,600 for charity by selling the campaign materials he produced before he was disqualified from running in the looming presidential election by the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC). The charity sale took place for two consecutive days this weekend, from 26 to 27 Aug, at Joo Chiat.
Members of the public purchased T-shirts, posters, badges, tissues and flags in the “pay as you wish” sale. Mr Goh also made it a point to be present at the sale to interact with members of the public and said he was touched by the encouragement, kindness and generosity of the Singaporeans who showed up.
The $8,606.61 that was raised went to the beneficiaries of the Happy People Helping People (HPHP) non-profit. The proceeds will provide 2,150 meals to those in need.
Mr Goh said, “My team and I would like to thank everyone, young and old, who came to support our charity sale…It has been so wonderful meeting each one of you and hearing each of your stories. You have made a difference with your support today!”
HPHP is a prominent community group dedicated to helping the elderly poor. For the past several years, HPHP has been working to help the elderly who cannot find proper jobs to make ends meet.
Providing the elderly with basic necessities like daily meals, money to pay their bills and monthly outings, the non-profit community organisation also spreads awareness of how many elderly individuals struggling with poverty resort to working as cardboard or used can collectors to survive.
Back in June, HPHP publicly backed Mr Goh’s bid for the presidency. Revealing that Mr Goh has been supporting their group over the past few years, HPHP said that the entrepreneur has financially supported HPHP events, donated trolleys to elderly cardboard collectors and even invited HPHP volunteers to his home for a Chinese New Year dinner.
HPHP said, “We believe Mr George is the right person to run for President as we know he genuinely cares for Singaporeans.”
The PEC ultimately rejected Mr Goh’s eligibility application, stating that his experience handling several smaller private sector companies did not equate to the skills required to manage a much larger entity.
Mr Goh said in a press statement that the PEC had taken a “very narrow interpretation of the requirements without explaining the rationale behind its decision,” as he called the decision “not fair” and a “setback to Singapore”.
The PEC refuted this in a subsequent statement. Asserting that it carefully considered Mr Goh’s application, based on the proper application of Article 19(4)(b) of the Constitution, the PEC said it is publicly releasing its letter to Mr Goh explaining the rationale behind its decision in response to the allegations he made against the Committee.
The PEC said, “As mentioned in the Committee’s letter to Mr Goh, Article 19(4)(b) requires the Committee to consider whether an applicant has the experience and ability that comes
from managing one very large private sector organisation – the experience and ability
that comes from managing multiple smaller private sector organisations is not
equivalent to this.”
In its statement, the PEC said that Mr Goh asked the Committee to regard the five companies he led as a single private sector organisation, despite the fact that the companies “are not a unitary company and are not owned by a common holding company.”
The PEC said, “The Committee carefully considered Mr Goh’s submission. However, after
taking into account the relevant facts and circumstances (including how the companies
were owned, managed and operated), the Committee was not satisfied that the five
companies constituted a single private sector organisation.
“Consequently, for the reasons explained in the Committee’s letter to Mr Goh, the Committee was unable to grant Mr Goh a Certificate of Eligibility under Article 19(4)(b) of the Constitution.”