The national Multiple Sclerosis society in Singapore

Introduction:The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a non- profit organization that supports MS related research and provides programs for people with MS and their families. Multiple Sclerosis is an auto- immune disease. It is a chronic and often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. The mission statement of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is to end the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis. The funds that are provided by the society are used in research, programs, and education.

The Society helps to raise the awareness of Multiple Sclerosis around the world. (Reference 6) The Multiple Sclerosis Society is a worldwide organization that provides service to many different countries. One area of the world that the MS Society lacks in involvement is Southeastern Asia. MS does not appear in Asia nearly as much as in North America and Europe, but there are relevant cases. There are other parts of Asia such as Japan and India that have MS Societies. MS is also scarce in those areas and their societies are not as large as other chapters of NMSS, but it has been found that they are necessary.

The Japanese society has 31 members and about 5000 people who have MS but are not involved in the society. In India the society has approximately 1005 members and 1000 people on record that have MS. (Reference 7) Putting a MS society in Southeastern Asia would be best suited in the country of Singapore. Singapore is a very prosperous country and has many international links.

According to one source Chan Tse Chueen funding for non-profit organizations is very prevalent in Singapore. In Singapore there are three sources of funding. The first being the State that gives funds to social welfare organizations and research institutes. The government tries to encourage donations by pledging to match dollar – for- dollar that is raised. The second source is the corporate sector.

Many corporations set up foundations and trust funds and also have donations as contribution in kinds. Companies in Singapore such as IBM Singapore and Hewlett Packard Company are dedicated to providing philanthropy to local organizations. The last source of funding is the civic sector. As the people of Singapore become more affluent more funds become available.(Reference 2)

The marketing plan for NMSS in Singapore would need to include adaptation of the service to the Singaporean culture, Promotion, which would include ways to introduce this new organization, to raise the awareness of the MS cause by using advertising techniques, adaptation to pricing and costs in Singapore, and were to locate the organization. Republic of Singapore

Singapore was founded as a trading colony by the British in 1819 and became and independent country in 1965. Today Singapore is one of the world’s most prosperous countries. Singapore is located in Southeastern Asia. It is not a very large country and is compared in size as being ” slightly more than 3.5 times the size of Washington D.C.”(Reference 1) The People and Culture The population of Singapore comes to 4,151,264 and consist of many different ethnic groups, such as, Chinese, Malay, India, along with other groups. Singapore has four Chinese77%

Malay14%Indian7.6%Other1.4%Official languages-Chinese, Malay (the national language)  Tamil, and English. Because of Singapore’s diverse ethnic groups the people of Singapore practice different religions, including, Buddhism (Chinese), Muslim (Malays), Christianity, Hindu, Taoists, and Confucianism. The people of Singapore celebrate their culture with festivals according to different religions. Singaporean culture is a mix of many different nationalities and though Singapore is increasingly developing its own identity many people still hold on to the customs of their ancestors.

Singapore has also been considered the food capital of Asia offering a mix of Chinese, Indian, Malay, Indonesian, and Western food. Singaporeans also hold high regards for performing art and the theatre.(Reference 1) Political Environment of Singapore

Singapore has a parliamentary republic. The Chief of State is President Sellapan Ramis. The President is a figurehead and has no real power for decision-making. The Head of Government is Prime Minister Goh Cho Tong. The prime minister is in charge of government policy and state of affairs.Singapore’s political parties include National Solidarity Party, People’s Action Party, and Singaporean Democratic Party, which is the governing party, Singaporean People’s party, and the Workers Party. Singapore has a Legal System based on English Common Law and Suffrage.(Reference 1) Singapore Law

Singapore’s law is enacted by Singapore Parliament and consist of the Singaporean Constitution, legislation and subsidiary legislation. “The Constitution lays down the fundamental principles and basic framework of state organization and enshrines the fundamental rights of the individual”. Singapore can be very strict when it comes to their laws for example they are sometimes called “fine city” their laws particularly dealing with littering. If one litters there are large fines for first offenders and public humiliation for repeat offenders”

The authorities hope public shame will make diehard litterbugs think twice about tossing their scrap paper or cigarette butt on the roadside”. Singapore also has outlawed chewing gum and it cannot be brought into the country. Smoking is also not allowed in public places and anyone convicted of drug trafficking receives mandatory death penalty. (Reference 5) Singapore’s Economy

Singapore’s economy is highly developed and has a free-market economy. Singapore has one of the most prosperous economies and is becoming the regions financial and high tech capital. Singapore also has one of the world’s busiest ports in the world.(Reference1) Economic Statistics

GDP: purchasing power parity – $98 billion (1999 est.) Labor force: 1.932 million (1998)Exports: $114 billion (1999) GDP- real growth rate: 5.5%(1999 est.)Unemployment rate: 3.2% (1999 est.)Exports-commodities: machinery and equipment

(Including electronics) 63%, Chemicals, mineral fuels (1998) GDP- per capita: purchasing power parity-$27, 800 (1999 est.)Industries: electronics, financial services, oil drilling equipment, petroleum refining, Rubber processing and rubber products, processed food and beverages, ship repair, entrepot trade, biotechnologyExports-partners: US 19%, Malaysia 17%, HongKong 8%, Japan 7%, Taiwan 5%, Thailand 4%, UK 4%, China 3%, Germany 3% (1998) Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.4% (1999)

Exchange Rate:S$1.75600=$1 (US)US $ to Singapore $s = .56948(Reference 4)Agriculture-products: rubber, copra, fruit, vegetables; poultry, eggs, fish, vegetables, orchids, ornamental fish Imports: $111 billion (1999) Imports-commodities: machinery and equipment 57%, mineral fuels, chemical, foodstuffs (1998) Import-partners: US 17%, Japan 17%, Malaysia 16%, Thailand 5%, China 5%, Taiwan 4%, Germany, Saudi Arabia (1998)

Marketing PlanThe National Multiple Sclerosis Society Singapore Chapter would need many adaptations. The most important issue with setting up a non-profit organization in Singapore would be complying with Singapore law. There are steps that must be taken to set up an agency like the NMSS in Singapore.

The first step is to register as a society or as a charity. One adaptation that might be considered is registering as a charity instead of a society because charities would be eligible for tax exemption. Societies are not allowed special tax status. To be exempt from paying taxes 80% of the charities income must be spent in the given year. Societies and Charities are subjected to acts that are legislation set up guide lines for the actions of the Societies and Charities for example they are not allowed to engage in political activities and allowed only to speak on issues concerning their stated constituency.(Reference 2) Another adaptation for the NMSS would be language.

This would not be such a problem for younger people because many of them can speak English. It is taught to them in school, but for the older people, who would most likely be using NMSS the most many of them do not speak English. The staff of the NMSS Singapore would need to able to speak the other languages. Promotion for the NMSS Singapore could be done through many different ways. Radio could be a way of getting the message out, there is an estimate of 2.55 million radios in the country and television also could work they have about 1.33 million in the country. The Internet would also be a way of promoting NMSS.

There is a web site calledThe World of MS, which has all the links to MS societies with home pages. The web page would need to be indifferent languages so all people could read it. Since Singapore has many different cultures there are things that must be kept in mind when it comes to the people. (Reference 5) •In the Chinese culture it is liked to have things in even numbers. •Different numbers mean different things

2=easy 6=wealth 8=prosper 4=death•Dark colors are frowned upon•Singaporeans go bare foot inside their homes and visitors should leave their shoes at the front door.

Location of the NMSS Singapore should be located in Singapore in an urban area that is accessible to the most people. It should be located on a main level of a building so it is accessible to people in wheel chairs and walker. Pricing in Singapore Currency (References 3,4)

Office Space RentingS$ 35.12 square footEmployees Salary S$ 23, 500 annual salaryCandidate with BA

Nature of the OrganizationThe National Multiple Sclerosis Society in Singapore would be part of the worldwide organization of MS Societies. This NMSS chapter in Singapore would try to adapt to Singapore life but would also try to follow what all the MS societies do. There are a few events that most NMSS follow they are the MS WALKS, and Bike Tours. These are Fundraisers that most of the MS Societies around the world participate in. NMSS Singapore Chapter would also be dedicated to the common mission of ending MS. Market Research

The primary market research that would be needed is to find people who would provide the most assistance to the organization. Are people in this culture willing to give to social welfare groups? Also are there enough people that will benefit from the organization and where do we find them. Finding records of people with physical disabilities would be a start. The economics of the market is also important because finding out if there is room in the economy for a non-profit organization to fit in and benefit in that country. Conclusion

Introducing the National Multiple Sclerosis Society into Singapore has its good sides and bad. The MS Society could benefit from the prosperous economy of Singapore and government and corporate support, but the factors that may not work are there may not be enough people in Singapore to benefit (not many with MS), also if societies are not exempt from taxes that may lead to financial problems for the society.

Charities must incorporate the poor and societies are people who have common ends in this case Multiple Sclerosis. It would be difficult to change the MS society to a charity. It is certainly possible to introduce NMSS to other countries and many already have them. Even though NMSS in Singapore has its down side it might be able to work with some adaptation.ReferencesCIA World Fact Book 2000. Civicus. HR. http://www.abouthr.comChangeX: Currency Calculator. http://www.numa.comExpatSingapore. http://www.expatsingapore.comNational Multiple Sclerosis Society Fact SheetWorld of Multiple Sclerosis.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Singapore