Connect with us


Singapore’s Tap for Hope initiative sparks controversy over donation stand locations

SMRT’s Tap for Hope initiative, running from 11 December 2023 to 31 January 2024, invites commuters to contribute via ez-link cards or alternative methods. However, controversy emerges as critics question the strategic placement of donation stands, igniting a debate over the charity’s venue choices.



SINGAPORE: Starting from 11 December 2023 until 31 January 2024, commuters now have the opportunity to contribute towards aiding lower-income families and caregivers with a simple tap.

This initiative is being carried out at eight MRT stations and two bus interchanges.

The third edition of SMRT’s Tap for Hope campaign is set to channel its proceeds to benefit 86 charities affiliated with the President’s Challenge, as revealed by the public transport operator on 11 December.

Among the noteworthy beneficiaries are The Salvation Army, Singapore Children’s Society, and the Yellow Ribbon Fund.

This charitable effort is endorsed by the National Council of Social Service, and designated donation stands have been strategically placed at Bayfront, HarbourFront, Paya Lebar, Serangoon, Bugis, Tanjong Pagar, Toa Payoh, and Raffles Place MRT stations, as well as Choa Chu Kang bus interchange and the Woodlands Integrated Transport Hub.

Commuters can contribute amounts of $2 (US$1.5), $6 (US$4.5), or $8 (US$6) by simply tapping their ez-link cards, charms, or wearables at these designated stands.

Furthermore, alternative payment methods are accommodated, including Visa or Mastercard cards, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Alipay+.

The overarching goal is to raise funds to support caregivers within the community.

The President’s Challenge, launched in 2000, is a national movement committed to assisting the less fortunate.

This year, themed “Caring for Caregivers,” President’s Challenge 2023 underscores the crucial role caregivers play in Singapore’s healthcare and social support systems.

The movement directs its efforts towards caregiver training programs, such as Montfort Care’s Care Navigators program and the Caregivers Support Network by the Singapore Red Cross Society.

The recent edition of Tap for Hope, unveiled on 11 December at Bayfront MRT stop, saw the attendance of Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State for Home Affairs, and Social and Family Development, as the guest of honor.

Notably, SMRT does not specify a fundraising target for 2023, but it encourages increased participation, aiming for a greater number of contributors to support caregivers in the community.

Expressing the broader vision of SMRT, group chief executive Ngien Hoon Ping envisions the transport operator’s network as vibrant spaces capable of supporting societal causes and enhancing the well-being of the community.

Debate emerges over charity’s venue choices as critics urge rethink of ‘Tap for Hope’ donation stands placement

Despite the commendable charitable efforts, it appears that not everyone holds a favorable view of this philanthropic endeavor.

Within the comments section of The Straits Times Facebook page, numerous users expressed reservations, suggesting that the donations could be directed to more opulent locales.

Among the sentiments voiced, one user asserted that the act of donating seemed akin to channeling funds back into the hands of those already in positions of power.


Another user proposed an alternative approach, recommending that these donation stands be strategically placed in front of elite establishments such as clubhouses, golf courses, high-end bars, and restaurants, positing that affluent individuals who typically avoid public transportation could contribute via credit card taps.

comment Tap For Hope

Furthermore, there was a suggestion to reconsider the placement of donation stands, with a user emphasizing the need to target affluent areas such as condos, bungalows, and car parks, as well as exclusive locations like golf courses, the Jewel, Changi Airport Terminal Three, Marina Bay Sands condo, shopping centers, and casinos.

The argument centered around the belief that the wealthier demographic frequenting these locales would be more inclined to contribute.


Some users even humorously proposed placing donation stands in the parliament, accompanied by a lighthearted suggestion of implementing a system where each tap equates to a substantial donation, potentially generating significant funds after every parliamentary session.

 comment Tap For Hope

Amidst these varied perspectives, one user drew attention to what they perceived as a more pressing issue.

They highlighted the congested state of main roads during rush hours, pointing out that while SMRT buses can move, there appears to be a reluctance to do so swiftly, potentially due to political considerations or organizational profit motives.

This user urged the resolution of this critical issue before seeking additional donations and fare hikes, underscoring the importance of addressing fundamental challenges in public transportation.

charity comment

Share this post via:
Continue Reading
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Are government of the day promoting the poor to support the poorer? So that those rich and very rich can be a lot more richer?

Then these richest will inflat property prices and cause a spiralling surge in everything from foods, consumables, transports and housing to the suffering poor?

Last edited 6 months ago by Singapore Fooled Again n Again

If you noticed the Patterns of Govt and Corp these days, you would have noted that as soon as they earn profits. Not too long down the road they revamp the outlet even though the outlet is Ok. Care to explain why they do such Practice?!?

Just remove those redundant highly paid but not productive positions like Mayors and Dy this Dy that, etc can save hundreds of millions dollars a year. Also noticed a number of civil works and HDB works are rather wasteful or redundant can easily save $5 billion to $10 billion a year. Dig here dig there, then patch up and in short time, dig again and again. Destroying still good condition gardens or structures and build another White Elephant over it for what? So all those contractors can get fat profits for not doing much? More than enough to not have… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Singapore Fooled Again n Again