Snippets

Complete Court transcript available here

Davinder Singh: So you set your perk at SIA business-class rate, use that money to go first class and sue people who say that they have seen you in first class?
T. T. Durai: At that point (of the 1998 lawsuits) I didn’t travel on first class. But in the past two years, the board has given me entitlement to travel business class on an SIA ticket. So I have taken the liberty to travel first class… That is what the board has decided. They know about this.

Comments:The NKF board, along with Durai, should resign.

Davinder Singh: Are you now going to do the right thing to go to the two persons you took money from (in the 1998 lawsuits) to return it to them and to apologise?
T. T. Durai: No. I want to explain because at that time I was not travelling using NKF’s money to buy a first-class ticket. I paid the difference and then travelled on first class. …

Comments:Would someone who has slapped someone else slap himself in return to make amends?

Davinder Singh: That is why you are not telling them the truth. Why hide the truth?
T. T. Durai: I am just like every other CEO entitled to benefits and rights. We run a business organisation with a turnover of $120 million.

Comments:Duh! What BUSINESS ORGANISATION? Isn’t the NKF a NON PROFIT ORGANISATION and a CHARITY?

Durai tried to explain that the NKF had used the worst-case scenario whereby none of its 2,000 patients could afford to co-pay their monthly dialysis costs of $2,600.

But Durai conceded: “Three years is an inaccuracy … but it’s for the people (of Singapore).”

“And your tap,” added Davinder Singh.

Comments:Ouch. And a $990 gold-plated tap at that. Plus, a $1100 toilet bowl. And 8 company cars complete with drivers.

Davinder Singh: In your affidavit, you liken yourself to CEOs of companies and ministers in government, right? Would you agree with me that like ministers in the government, you are being paid out of people’s money? Would you agree with me that ministers’ salaries are transparent?
T.T. Durai: Yes.

Davinder Singh: Would you agree with me that CEOs of listed companies have their salaries published in the newspapers?
T.T. Durai: Yes.

Davinder Singh: And you have likened yourself to CEOs of public companies. Why are you not publishing your own information?
T.T. Durai: I like my salary to remain private. My board members know that. My senior colleagues know that.

Comments:So other than the matters of his salary, his entitlements to his benefits and rights is like every other CEO. You what so special ar, Durai?

Davinder Singh: Mr Durai, can you tell this court what your salary and bonuses were for 2002?
T.T. Durai: I was earning a monthly salary of $25,000.

Davinder Singh: And your bonus?
T.T. Durai: Performance bonus was 10 months.

Davinder Singh: Ten months’ bonus! $250,000 bonus. This is for 2002.
T.T. Durai: I cannot recall the exact figure.

Davinder Singh: So, if it is $25,000 a month, multiply that by 12, your total package was $550,000 in 2002.
T.T. Durai: I believe so.

Davinder Singh: 2003, please?
T.T. Durai: You have the numbers. I don’t have the numbers offhand.

Davinder Singh: Tell us, please, so that we don’t waste time.
T.T. Durai: About the same I think. I cannot tell you offhand now.

Davinder Singh: About the same, meaning $550,000 or slightly higher?
T.T. Durai: About that.

Davinder Singh: How many months’ bonus did you get in 2003?
T.T. Durai: Twelve months.

Davinder Singh: In 2004, what was the bonus?
T.T. Durai: Same bonus.

Davinder Singh: Twelve months at $25,000 a month.
T.T. Durai: Yes.

Davinder Singh: So for the past three years you have earned about $1.8 million from the NKF.
T.T. Durai: Yes.

Comments:This is when everyone is tightening their belts, asked to lower their pay expectations, taken a CPF cut; and when some gets no bonus whatsoever and even a pay cut. Durai, have you got NO shame? With what virtue and what talent do you (你何德何能) believe you deserve those bonus? In fact, members of the Fire Brigade is more deserving of that $25,000 a month. Not only are they also saving lives, they are even risking their own lives when doing so!

Davinder Singh: $1.8 million, I wonder what is wrong. $1.8 million. Should the man who takes $50 out of his pay packet of $1,000, leaving $950 for him, his wife and his children, with no savings, should he not know that some of that money is going or has gone into a $500,000 to $600,000 pay package for you?
T.T. Durai: Surely he knows.

Comments:In all honesty, Durai, I do not know. And I can say so for a whole lot of people out there. I would like you to personally go and tell my friend’s old mother, who actually quit taking medicine for her knee problem and suffered the pain, contributed almost half of her take home pay of $750 minus CPF (and no bonus!), and lived a barren existence for a month so that she can do her bit to help the kidney patients whom she felt is worse off than she is. And please look her in the eye when you tell her just how much you have taken from the NKF as your yearly bonus.

Davinder Singh: We now understand why you say the $990 tap is not expensive. Well, coming from you at $600,000 a year, we now know why you say it is not expensive. But tell us, for that man with $1,000/$2,000, is it expensive?
T.T. Durai: Yes, he may consider it expensive.

Davinder Singh: He may, or is it? Tell us the truth.
T.T. Durai: I cannot speak for him. It depends on the type of building, the use of the item.

Davinder Singh: The man in his HDB one-room, two-room, three-room flat, earning a salary of $1,000, $2,000, $3,000 – would he find that tap at $990 plus 10 per cent discount expensive?
T.T. Durai: He may consider it expensive, yes.

Davinder Singh: He may, or will he?
T.T. Durai: If he is an educated person, if he knows the use of the particular office, for what purpose, he may probably think it is something reasonable.

Comments:Thanks for implying that anyone who felt it is unreasonable to buy a $990 tap is actually un-educated. Thank you very much!

His own reputation was closely intertwined with that of the NKF, Durai said.

“It would be fair to say that I live and breathe the work of the NKF,” he said.

“As a consequence of my work, my name has become synonymous with the NKF’s efforts to help Singaporeans and accordingly, any attack on my integrity is an attack on the integrity of the NKF.”

Comments:You obviously overrated your self importance, Durai. The NKF will live on without you. But if it dies tomorrow, it is all YOUR fault.

Addressing the issue of the installation of the ‘gold-plated tap’, Mr Durai said he did not give any instructions on the type of bathroom fittings and had left it to the architects.

When he first saw the basin mixer and shower mixer – white with what appeared to be gold-coloured trim – he did not like them.

“Although I did not know what they would have cost, they were out of place and could convey a wrong impression that they were expensive,” he said.

This, he said, was not in keeping with his instructions to Mr Donald Jacob, then the NKF building manager, that the offices should appear simple and that the interior should not be too lavish.

He said he had the fittings removed and replaced, even though a colleague remarked that the taps looked ordinary and there was ‘no big deal’.

Mr Durai said he was not aware of who actually approved the fittings.

Comments:Then will you please find the genius who approved it? I will prepare the grill, and the hot coals.

Asked if Mr Durai’s annual salary and bonuses were ‘excessive’, Mrs Gold Chok Tong replied: “For a person who runs a million-dollar charitable organisation, $600,000 is peanuts as it has a few hundred millions in reserve.

Comments:Sure. The Thai prostitutes in Geylang, I was told, charged $40 a session. That will be 15,000 sessions. Tell them it’s peanuts, after you try 15 sessions a night. See video below on some Singaporean’s reaction to the entire event.

If you can’t view it, click to download from here

The staff at the NKF gave chief executive T.T. Durai a standing ovation after he gave a short address to a packed auditorium at NKF headquarters. As he returned to work, staff and the NKF board rallied around their embattled CEO.

Comments:Well, what’s their bonus like? 6 months? 8 months? Give me that kind of bonus every year for the next few years, and I will also ‘掩住我的良心’ (suppress my conscience) and give him a standing ovation.

The NKF falsely inflated the number of patients it treats and understated how long its financial reserves would last, Durai conceded. Durai admitted in court that if NKF’s reserves of $262 million were used simply to treat dialysis patients, they would last 30 to 40 years, not three years, as the foundation has long claimed. He also admitted that the NKF had made ‘a few errors’ over the years in telling the public how many patients it treats.

Comments:How is it that they didn’t mistaken his 12 months bonus as 1.2 months?

While he worked full-time as chief executive of the NKF, Durai was also a director of a number of other companies. And he was paid sums of up to $25,000 a year by them, over and above his NKF remuneration package. But he never told the NKF board, and did not list these directorships in his curriculum vitae.

Comments:So Durai, please set a good example by donating your bonus taken from the NKF back to the NKF.

Mr Singh said Mr Durai had tried to give the impression in his affidavit that he was being thoughtful when he agreed to come on board as CEO in 1992 for just $12,000 a month even though he had been offered $20,000. The truth, counsel said, was that Mr Durai had agreed to the lower pay in exchange for freedom to earn extra income outside the NKF. When Mr Singh produced Mr Durai’s CV and asked if it was complete, Mr Durai answered: “Not exactly.”

Comments:So no NKF CEO job you also can survive. Why then, are we waiting for your resignation, huh?.

When asked if he will resign, Durai said, “No, unless people want me to. I will continue to serve as I have done nothing wrong.’

Comments:And by people, do you mean the general public, or the NKF Board of Directors? We need to be clear so we won’t take you to task in error.

The NKF has a fleet of eight cars with company drivers and chief executive T.T. Durai is one of six officers who can make use of them at any time. He also has his own Mercedes-Benz 200 car for his personal and family use, and his wife also drives it. But the NKF pays the car’s road tax and picks up the bills for maintenance and repairs.

Comments:What about the COE? The next CEO of NKF should negotiate a car for his dad, his mum, and his maid too. And what about getting NKF to pay for his pets medical checkups?

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