SINGAPORE: Mr. Loh Kiong Poot, a 79-year-old retired successful businessman, has made a heartfelt commitment to allocate his entire S$20 million (US$14.6 million) estate to ten charitable organizations upon his eventual passing.
This benevolent decision was penned into his will when he reached the age of 50, representing his final act of philanthropy.
The journey of this accomplished entrepreneur, who embarked on a path to success at the tender age of 14, is a remarkable story of perseverance.
Having initially left home, Mr Loh undertook various odd jobs, often subsisting on a meager monthly income of S$20 (US$14.6), as reported by The Straits Times.
It was only when he established his own business at the age of 30 that he began accumulating his fortune, amassing S$10 million (US$7.3 million) in a mere 17 years, allowing him to retire in 1990 at the age of 47.
This decision to retire at such a relatively early stage of life was motivated by Mr Loh’s sense of having achieved financial sufficiency and the desire to avoid allowing the demands of his business endeavours to compromise his physical well-being.
At the age of 50, a friend introduced Mr Loh to a temple in Thailand in dire need of financial support for its construction.
He promptly donated S$100,000 (US$72,970), marking the inception of his philanthropic journey.
Over the ensuing decades, he has contributed to temple construction, classroom expansions, and financial aid for orphanages in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.
He was dedicated to personally visiting the projects he supported.
Even with substantial wealth, Mr. Loh embraced a humble lifestyle
According to 8wolrd News, despite his wealth, Mr Loh led a modest life, maintaining a low profile and even opting for economy-class travel.
His magnanimity was so extensive that he himself couldn’t recall the total sum he had donated to various charitable causes.
Each year, he generously donates half of his annual earnings to those in need, and for five consecutive years starting in 2018, he contributed S$500,000 (US$364,830) annually to the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF), along with donations to Mr Goh Chok Tong’s Enable Fund.
As per his long-standing intention, Mr Loh plans to bequeath the remaining S$20 million (US$14.6 million) of his wealth to ten predetermined charitable organizations upon his passing.
These funds currently exist as investments in bonds, ensuring that his legacy of giving will endure.
Mr. Loh eloquently summarizes his philosophy, stating, “If you have excess money, why would you keep holding on to it? If you can donate and help people, just donate. That’s my principle.”
Regarding his children, he maintains the belief that they possess the means to lead autonomous lives.
Nevertheless, he intends to leave them and his wife with some property upon his eventual demise.
Mr. Loh’s generous S$300,000 donation to Singapore Chung Hwa Medical Institution
Mr. Loh’s altruistic spirit also extends to the medical field, where he has generously supported institutions such as Ren Ci Hospital, Singapore Chung Hwa Medical Institution, and Singapore Thong Chai Medical Institution, as noted by The Straits Times.
Reported by 8world News, the Singapore Chung Hwa Medical Institution is honoring him as a guest of honor at their anniversary dinner on Sunday (15 Oct).
At this event, he will be contributing S$300,000 (US$218,900) to the institution to further advance its noble mission.
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