DBS & me… (2 emails)

On Nov 26, 2008, at 5:24 PM, Customer Service Feedback wrote:

Dear Ms Yu

I refer to your feedback of 26 November 2008 and appreciate your
concerns.

Please allow us to clarify that our charity partner, Focus on the Family
(Singapore) is a non religious and non political organisation. It is a
voluntary welfare organisation supported and endorsed by the National
Family Council and the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and
Sports in Singapore. Its community programmes are widely supported by
like-minded socially responsible corporate citizens such as MediaCorp,
Far East Group, to name a few.

The contribution from DBS will go towards supporting the children’s
programmes in Singapore. This is part of our efforts at DBS to support
families and children during this festive period. We have supported
various local charities in the past such as The Children’s Society
during Christmas in 2006.

DBS will continue to play its part to support the community at large and
we hope to have your kind understanding and support.

Yours sincerely
Daisy Ong
Customer Care & Feedback Management
Consumer Banking Group
DBS Bank Ltd

Dear Daisy Ong,

If you believe Focus On Family is a non-religious organisation they have clearly misled you. The web address of Focus On Family is: http://www.christianmentalhealth.com/Singapore.htm

A non-religious organisation is not likely to have ‘christian mental health’ in its web address.

Furthermore, if you visit this website you will see that all 9 of their current events listed (from 24 Nov to 29 Nov) deal with homosexuality–eg  ‘Preventing Homosexuality’ and ‘Homosexuality, Myths & Truths’.

There is no mention of children or children’s programmes even in this festive season, just this obsession with attacking homosexuality from their own interpretation of Christianity.

As for their actions may I refer you not only to the numerous online student voices but to the Otto Fong letter quoted in The New Paper  “In the eight years I have taught, I have done little for that small group of students who are gay. When the religious group Focus on the Family masqueraded as sex guidance counselors and gave a talk full of misinformation about homosexuality to our students, I was furious but kept my mouth shut.”

I had no objection whatsoever to DBS supporting The Children’s Society during Christmas 2006. I only wish you were doing so this year too.

While I believe your desire to support the community at large is well intentioned there is no way you will continue to have our support if you continue to fund this religious group impose its own interpretation of values on school children and others.

Sincerely
Ovidia Yu

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18 Responses

  1. Hi Concerned, you are not very good at ‘nutshell’ deductions.
    Let me make this simple for you:

    My position is Gay= Good. Straight = Good. Family = Good. Mutual acceptance= Good & necessary.

    Focus on the Family which lies about all the above (from my POV) may be good for some people but not for me=Bad & Damaging

    Therefore I’m fine with them existing but I will not support them with my money (either directly or by supporting institutions that support them)

    And I had a great childhood, thanks for asking.

  2. Ovida, in a nutshell, your position is Gay=Good; Family=Bad. Who gave birth to you? Did you have a bad childhood? Do you want to see other children deprived? What is your motivation? Why slam a charitable cause?

  3. Hi Colm, please check your facts before you start ranting or you’ll be in as much trouble/embarrassment as Focus on the Family for deliberately misquoting & manipulating facts (go check out how many of the ‘experts’ they quote in their material have protested & taken out suits against them)

    DBS job cuts have nothing to do with our objections.
    Money they said they will donate to the FotF children’s shelter is still being donated by DBS this year, just not publicised or (I hope) to be repeated.
    There was no talk of ‘buckling’. DBS is concerned about us, its clients. We appreciate them for taking action once the true nature of Focus on the Family was drawn to their attention.

    I am glad you feel encouraged by Focus on the Family broadcasts.
    You are free to listen to them.

    And yes, I at least am doing my bit for my family & some others do. I am also very grateful to the Singapore government & hope they weed out pockets of camouflaged racial & religious prejudice & intolerance disguised as social work.

    And I also believe I stand for the ‘right’ values. You probably think I am wrong just as I consider you misguided though sincere. I hope God will some day communicate to you what a miracle and blessing we in our created forms are, because we were made perfect in his image.

    Be careful of groups who try to make over God in their image and tell you that everyone different from them is wrong… of course God will speak differently to you and to me because we are different people so I won’t ask you to believe me, just to make a still space in yourself to listen–but that is precisely the miracle of it. Yes, homosexuality is wrong for some people. Just as heterosexuality is wrong for some people. And those of us who don’t fit into the Focus on the Family template are not a threat to it…nor are we promoting ‘reverse’ values as you suggest. We just don’t want our money in DBS supporting an organisation that attacks us when there are so many other children’s charities (the ones I support are the pocket money fund & the children’s cancer foundation) in need of help.

  4. I was disappointed to hear of the negative feedback to DBS’ support of the Focus of the Family. I am grateful that there is such an organisation around to conserve the right values and truths for our families. As anyone who has a belief in certain values (especially if it happens to be Christianity these days), they must be prepared to pay the costs of “militant” (yes, just cheekily using the same phrase used by one of the previous writers) writers. These values will and must be put to the test and proven versus those that propogate against it. And I believe they will. As for DBS, it is very shocking to see how they can cut 900 jobs in the manner that they did, and to shirk away with intimidation just because of a few objections especially since the money will go to this group of children that DBS has claimed to support (without prejudice or exclusion). The fact that Focus on the Family is a Christian organisation does mean that they are using this money that was to be received from DBS would be used for their outreaches. It was specifically meant to go to the children – full stop. Now they are deprived of it. Amazing the fear and intimidation a giant can buckle under. Food for thought for them. I listen to the radio broadcasts from Focus on the Family and am always encouraged. You know what, at least they are promoting the right values and trying to keep families together which is a lot more than what many others are doing (or not doing). I hope all the vocal anti FOTF writers are doing their bit for families? I am grateful to the Singapore government for maintaining their support of this organisation and for the right values. It scares me to see what would happen if not for the conservation and continued protection of these correct foundations which we can build our lives upon. Like I said, let these values prove themselves against those that promote the reverse such as supporting homosexuality and let us see what is the fruit of that.

  5. Thanks Naomi, good suggestion on the links & I hope you posted them in your own feedback to DBS.

  6. To be clear, I don’t support FOTF. In fact, I detest its practices and beliefs just like you do. I just think it is absurd to expect DBS to take you seriously if you provide a link to some dubious site and claim that it is FOTF’s web page. Anyone can set up a site and post links on it to FOTF. I can write a web page teaching people how to make bombs and murder infidels and claim that I am affiliated to FOTF.

    My point is you should have provided more proof in your letter that the website indeed belongs to FOTF. You could also have linked to the International website of FOTF (http://www.focusonthefamily.com/) and pointed out that they are indeed a Christian organisation. Instead you based your entire case on one fishy webpage, thus undermining the credibility of your protest and giving DBS leeway to reject your evidence and maintain their stance.

  7. Hi AntiHate, thanks for dropping by & for your comments. Agree on the ‘pro-family’ comment especially. I totally support good family relationships (because I choose relatives in addition to blood relatives doesn’t make those relationships any less valuable!) but I’m scared of the militant ‘pro-family”pro-abstinence”pro-life’ people!

  8. Oh yes, I forgot to point out the obvious – in case it is not obvious to people like Noami:

    The fact that the family.org.sg site is pretty and does not link to the christianmentalhealth.com site is probably indicative of deliberate deception at play.

    The family.org.sg site is set up to market to the mainstream etc. The plain christianmentalhealth.com site gives no-nonsense (dis)information and hate. The safe polished site does not link to the wacko site. It is ok for the wacko site to link to the main one so readers can get a sense of the “legitimacy” of the parent organisation.

    Seriously disturbing stuff here. Deception in the name of “God” and Christian “love”.

  9. Naomi is unfortunately the fool here, by taking a site at shallow face value. If she had but looked at the 3 big lines across the top of the plain page, she would have noticed that they each carry prominent links and email address to the family.org.sg domain — which Naomi herself knows to be the domain belonging to the said organisation.

    Why does pro-family always have to automatically equal disinformation, control and hate?

  10. Hi Jiovinder, good to meet you here too!

  11. Hi Ovidia, came across this from here :
    http://sgblogs.com/entry/support-focus-family/252167

  12. Hi Colin,

    I wrote to them at https://www.dbs.com/contact/feedback/
    It would be really great if you could let them know how you feel too!

  13. Good on you, Ovidia. Any ideas how we can email this Ms Daisy Ong or her superiors? We need their email contacts.

  14. Thanks Naomi, we all know the family.org.sg site–the pretty showpiece site that gets them money & school talks. When I asked for upcoming events I got directions to what you describe as ‘bare page’ info for November. (Actually from someone writing from NUS like you)

    Hi Desmond, Dominic & of course Jolene (Thank You for glass-castle btw!) It’s entirely possible that DBS management ‘didn’t know’ or didn’t think it mattered. Especially if the choice of Focus On The Family as a charity to support was suggested or endorsed by an ex-DBS Chairman for example.

  15. Because it in “endorsed” by the National Family Council and the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports in Singapore.

    Even our gahmen is homophobic, what would you expect of a gahmen-linked-bank.

  16. Gosh Ovidia, I can’t believe they tried the smokescreen approach – or is it possible that they *really* had no clue that FOF’s an ultra-right Christian organization? Either possibility – very silly DBS or very evil DBS – is rather chilling, at any rate!

  17. I’m afraid you just made a fool of yourself. The website of Focus on the Family is http://www.family.org.sg/, not the website you cited in your post. How could you even believe that bare page was their official website? Anyone could have set that up.

  18. Hi Ovidia

    Great work here. This is truly nonsense: the Christian mission of FOTF is plain as day. I am very concerned however that DBS is denying this rather than recognising they have been mistaken and then apologising. It is also extremely worrying that other corporations have been supporting them!

    More here from Glass Castle:

    http://www.glass-castle.org/blog/2008/11/dbs-dont-support-focus-on-family.html

    Jolene

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