Singapore—On Tuesday, Jan 5, the Reform Party announced that a new charity had been established, called the J B Jeyaretnam Foundation, with the name still subject to regulatory approval.
Mr Jeyaretnam was the first opposition politician since independence was declared in 1965 to win a seat in Parliament. He was also the leader of the Workers’ Party from 1971 to 2001.
He passed away on Sept 30 2008 at the age of 82. At the time of his passing, he was the Secretary-General of the Reform Party of Singapore, which he had founded and which is now led by his son, Kenneth Jeyaretnam.
In its announcement over social media, the Reform Party wrote that “The objective of this charity will be poverty relief concentrating on the pockets of poverty amongst marginalized groups that were dear to JBJ’s heart.”
A few years ago, the party held a dinner for the purpose of raising funds to set up the foundation.
The Reform Party added that human rights lawyer M. Ravi, whom it identified as a protégé of Mr Jeyaretnam, had agreed to do the legal work required in setting up the charity, “at a generously reduced rate, to match the funds we have already raised.”
On his part, Mr Ravi congratulated Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam, as well as the rest of the family, on the launch of the foundation.
“After many months of planning, I am delighted Kenneth was able to make the announcement on JBJ’s birthday. JBJ was far more than a mentor to me and shaped my early years entering into law. His words of wisdom, stay etched in my mind. Wishing the charity well in its aims to reach the poorest and most marginalised in society. Looking to be part of the charity and to more announcements. I am truly honoured to assist on registration.”
Additionally, the Reform Party said in its announcement that it would not be requesting donations yet, but those who are interested in learning more about the foundation, or would like to participate or make donations in the future could reach out via Kenneth Jeyaretnam, The J B Jeyaretnam Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JBJeyaretnam, or on WhatsApp +65 91064376.
One of Mr Jeyaretnam’s grandsons, Mr Jared Jeyaretnam, a PhD student in London, also tweeted about the new foundation, writing, “I’m really proud to share that a charity will be launching in his name to tackle poverty in marginalised groups. His name is synonymous with compassion and courage and this is a great legacy for him.”
My grandfather, known in Singapore as JBJ, would’ve been 95 years old today – I’m really proud to share that a charity will be launching in his name to tackle poverty in marginalised groups. His name is synonymous with compassion and courage and this is a great legacy for him ☺️ https://t.co/0GBqz41uT4
— Jared Jeyaretnam 🔸 (@jaredjeya) January 5, 2021
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