Mr Koh Poh Tiong retires as Chairman, succeeded by Ms Junie Foo
Singapore, 26 July 2021 – After 14 years of service, Mr Koh Poh Tiong is stepping
down as Council Chairman of Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) and is passing
the baton of leadership to Ms Junie Foo who is a Chief Executive Officer at
Methodist Welfare Services and the President of the Singapore Council of Women’s
Organisation (SCWO). She joined the SKM Council in 2019.
Ms Junie Foo, Chairman of Singapore Kindness Movement
SKM has garnered many outstanding recognitions for innovative messaging and
marketing under his watch. The Graciousness Survey which evaluates the standard
of graciousness amongst Singaporeans has been trending upwards from a low of 53
points to the current 71.
The Ground-up Movements pioneered by SKM has grown to more than 100
galvanizing more than several thousand volunteers who are proactively involved in
promoting kindness initiatives in numerous ways.
Some outstanding milestones include:
- At the start of Mr Koh’s tenure in 2009, SKM did a vigorous re-launch urging
all Singaporeans to let kindness show. With the re-launch, SKM achieved
success in all sectors, particularly in the areas of public places and schools,
launching the theme “Kindness Bring It On” and Singa Everywhere that year.
SKM partnered with transport agencies to launch a campaign called ‘A Happy
Journey Starts Like That!’ that starred TV characters, Phua Chu Kang and
Rosie where they encouraged commuters to display graciousness on public
transport.● The following year, SKM participated in the Singapore Youth Olympic Games, the biggest event that Singapore has hosted on the international stage. SKM
rallied Singaporeans to be friendly hosts and help our foreign friends feel
welcomed with the slogan of ‘Let’s Champion a smile!’.
- In 2011, the Kindsville series was first launched, leading to the opening of the
Kindness Gallery in 2012. A new theme was introduced in 2013, “A Nation of
Kindness Starts With One”.
- To show appreciation to the secondary school students in Uniformed Groups
who have completed projects that promote kindness and graciousness within
their schools and in the community, SKM launched the Kindness Badge
Award in 2014. That same year, SKM launched Awkward Ah Seng the series.
- In 2015, SKM released the first short film titled “Mud Doll”, receiving
acclamations and an overwhelming positive viewership of 3 million views.
Friend of Singa, a school-based programme, also celebrated their silver
anniversary that same year.
- In 2016, SKM launched an editorial content platform called “The Pride” to
share and amplify positive stories in Singapore. The theme “Kindness. It’s Up
To Us.” also took place, plastering print ads all over the country.
- In 2017, SKM supported SG Cares in its official launch at Our Tampines Hub
in January and completed the year with some outstanding messaging by
broadcasting 18 episodes of Ben & Bang on Youtube, television and cinema,
in partnership with Public Hygiene Council and 4 cinema chain operators.
- That following year, the call to action was levelled up, calling Singaporeans to
become better versions of themselves, for a more gracious Singapore. This
led to introducing the “Be Greater” tagline which is still present in SKM’sactivations today.
- The same year, SKM partnered with Science Centre Singapore to co-produce
The Science of Kindness Musical which played a dozen times to full-houses
comprising a total audience of some 5,000 adults and children.
- During the start of COVID19, SKM pushed a series of uplifting activations to
encourage Singaporeans during the 2020 circuit breaker to overcome
Covid-19 with kindness. A tribute video of our frontline heroes was released,
which received widespread media coverage from various media outlets.
- Wrapping up Mr Koh’s 14th year in SKM, SKM launched a vernacular series,
‘Be Kind, Be Happy’. This series showcased General Secretary, Dr William
Wan and renowned actor, Moses Lim, engaging in light-hearted conversations
on how to improve neighbourliness amongst Singaporeans. The series
garnered an outstanding response of more than 237k views for each episode,
leading SKM to air a second season this coming August 2021.
Mr Koh said, “I am privileged and honoured to have had the opportunity to serve
SKM over the past 14 years. I am very grateful that SKM has received the
cooperation and unstinting support of the Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth
(MCCY) as well as various partners in the community, without which SKM would not
have been able to carry out its mission effectively – nurturing Singapore into a more
gracious and kinder society. I feel extremely blessed to have been able to work closely
with a strong and competent Council with diverse talents and an excellent Management
Team under the passionate leadership of General Secretary, Dr William Wan. I thank
MCCY, our partners, Council members (past and present), management and staff for all
their contributions. While we have made progress over the years, it is a continuing
journey. I sincerely hope MCCY, our partners, Singaporeans and residents will
continue to support SKM and my successor, Ms Foo. Given her wide and rich
experience, I have every confidence that she will be able to lead SKM to create a
greater positive impact on our society in its next phase of development in the yearsto come.”
Ms Foo is a mentor and a champion for women to advance into senior leadership
roles. She advocates for gender diversity within organisations because it is both a
socially responsible measure and a recipe for business success.
Effectively trilingual in English, Mandarin and Japanese, Ms Foo was the first female
non-Japanese in Asia Oceania to join the Corporate Banking Division’s management
team of a Japanese financial institution in 2015.
After a prolific 28-year career in banking, having held several senior management
positions at international financial institutions, she left to serve in the not-for-profit
sector in 2018 to create a bigger impact.
Said Ms Foo, “I am humbled by this appointment and extremely excited at the
prospect of working with the team at SKM and helping to build a generation of
Singaporeans who are kind and considerate.”
SKM greatly appreciates Mr Koh Poh Tiong for all his contributions to the
organisation and wishes him the best in all his future endeavours. At the same time,
SKM looks forward to welcoming the incoming Chairman, Ms Junie Foo.
About Singapore Kindness Movement
Kindness is in everyone. The Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) wants to
encourage everyone to start, show and share kindness. We aspire to inspire
graciousness – one kind act at a time. By sparing a thought for the people around
us, we hope to create a gracious society and make life better for you and me. SKM is
a non-government, non-profit organisation, as well as a registered charity and
Institution of Public Character.
About The Pride
The Pride is a local publication that informs and inspires Singapore by tackling social
issues and hot conversation topics, through a positive lens. Curated by the
Singapore Kindness Movement and put together by its team of dedicated content
producers, we fill the digital void with feel-good news, thought-provoking
commentaries and heartfelt features that uplift and connect with readers.