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Singapore, 22 June 2020 – In a show of solidarity, and commitment towards vulnerable families and individuals displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the world’s largest palm oil corporations and a committed leader in sustainability, Singapore-based Musim Mas Group, is pledging S$5 million to five local beneficiaries through its multi-million-dollar care fund. Called Musim Mas Project Onward, the company will disburse S$1 million in cash donation to each beneficiary. This initiative is in support of Singapore’s move forward after months of Circuit Breaker measures.

The move also comes on the back of Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat’s national address on Saturday, 20 June 2020, where he announced the formation of the Singapore Together Action Networks, which draw on ideas from partners across different sectors and turn them into new solutions to help take Singapore forward. Some of the networks include those that help disadvantaged students, support vulnerable families and look at mental health among young people.

Musim Mas’ S$5 million care fund is the largest donation made this year by a privately-owned company during the COVID-19 pandemic so far.

The five beneficiaries are:
–  Alzheimer’s Disease Association
–  Metta Welfare Association
–  The Majurity Trust
–  The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund
–  The Singapore General Hospital

“The Government’s swift and decisive policies meant that most Singaporeans are able to cope with the aftershocks of COVID-19. However, we recognise there are many less privileged families and individuals who need more help now,” said Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director of Musim Mas Holdings.

“We are fortunate to be in a position to be able to give back to the very society that has embraced our businesses and housed our headquarters. We hope this cash donation will inspire and empower these organisations to rise above the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic, and to continue serving their communities with fervour.”

The Group strives to improve the livelihoods of the communities from where it operates. It has committed to the various efforts in the 13 countries where it has offices, especially Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Last year, Musim Mas donated S$1 million to the Alzheimer’s Disease Association (ADA). This year, the national association for dementia will receive another S$1 million through Project Onward.

“After seeing the impact on society brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Musim Mas decided to ramp up its philanthropic efforts to help ensure that no Singaporean will fall through the safety net”, said Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director of Musim Mas Holdings.

“While working with ADA, we were moved by their continuous work to serve the dementia community despite facing multiple challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. ADA chief executive officer Jason Foo has also inspired us to recognise that there are many more communities out there who need our assistance,” added Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director of Musim Mas Holdings, whose team then went on to identify four more beneficiaries for Project Onward.

The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STPMF) provides pocket money to children from low-income families to help them through school. “These are very trying times, and many more families will find themselves in need. Which is why we are grateful to generous donors, such as Musim Mas, for stepping up to help charitable efforts. Through these donations, we are able to do more to help ensure that our young do not go to school hungry or in need,” said Mr Warren Fernandez, Editor-in-Chief of Singapore Press Holdings’ English /Malay/Tamil/Media Group, and Chairman of the STPMF.

Metta Welfare Association is a Buddhist organisation that offers a myriad of community welfare services to the less fortunate. Its president, Venerable Chao Khun Fa Zhao, BBM, said the Association is very heartened to “receive the generous support from Musim Mas in these challenging times in journeying with us and championing change for our beneficiaries and their families”.

Venerable Chao added: “This donation will go a long way in constructing the new Maitri Building and ensuring our Metta School graduates aged 18 and above, diagnosed with intellectual disability and/or autism are able to continue their vocational, work and life skills training to help them achieve economic independence and self reliance now and in the future. With the collective effort and contributions, we will overcome these challenging times and emerge stronger.”

The Majurity Trust (TMT) is a philanthropic organisation that seeks to work with donors and charities to build a thriving and sustainable community for all in Singapore. “We are extremely grateful to Musim Mas for their generous donation that will go to supporting charities and programmes serving children and youth suffering from depression and anxiety,” said Mr Martin Tan, Executive Director of TMT.

“Declining mental health is an issue that TMT has identified for urgent attention. The impact of COVID-19 has worsened the collective mental health and wellbeing of our society. Many are facing increased levels of psychological distress. Our children and youth are among the most vulnerable. In recent years, there has been a worrying increase in the number of youth suicides. This Musim Mas donation will provide timely support to complement existing efforts to help our youth struggling with mental health challenges.”

Singapore General Hospital (SGH), the largest and oldest hospital here, said preparedness during times of a pandemic and ability to respond swiftly and effectively are critical. The donation supports the development of innovative models of care and research at SGH that will shape and drive informed decisions during a pandemic and address the well-being of healthcare workers and affected patients.

Mr Foo, the chief executive officer of ADA, added that Musim Mas’ generosity will go a long way in easing the association’s cash flow and help sustain its programmes and services. “We are most grateful to Musim Mas for believing in our work. Their confidence and trust in us are testament that we are doing something right,” he said. “With this support, we will be able to bring more quality dementia care programmes, services and support to persons with dementia and caregivers, especially in these challenging times.”

For the full Press Release, please click here.