SEA Games 2015 Blog

Life at Deloitte

SEA Games 2015 Blog

Finding the extraordinary

This blog tells the stories of our people who are on the SEA Games 2015 journey. From the management team, to organizing committee, volunteers, and our athletes, each one of them will walk a different path but ultimately it will converge towards a common goal – one of pride and glory, with dreams in hand.

17 April 2015

Daniel's Story
Daniel Ho
Director of taxes & Deloitte SEA Games engagement team member
[Seen here with his daughter at the recent Suzuki Cup football tournament at the National Stadium]

How time flies. In a blink of an eye, the 28th SEA Games is less than 2 months away. One can feel the buzz of excitement in the air, with things moving full speed ahead, for both the athletes and the organisers, to make the Games a success.

I am indeed privileged to be in the Deloitte SEA Games engagement team, providing tax services to the SEA Games Organising Committee as part of our sponsorship

Some of you may wonder – what has tax got to do with organising a large-scale multi-sport event? “Plenty!” is the answer I always give.

Any event that deals with monetary transactions would have to consider tax matters, and sports organisations and certainly sportsmen are no exception (for those of you who are football fans, just ask Lionel Messi!).

Deloitte’s role as tax advisors for the SEA Games Organising Committee ensures that tax is properly budgeted and accounted for, so that there would be no unpleasant surprises in areas such as GST in respect of sponsorships and grants for the SEA Games, and the withholding of taxes from payments made to non-resident suppliers.

Having this behind-the-scene role in the Games has allowed me to gain unique insights and experiences outside of my day-to-day corporate tax work. Through discussions with the committee’s finance team, I learnt that for these sporting events, because they are publicly funded, budgeting is of utmost importance. The committee has the challenge of producing a spectacular event that the nation can be proud of, while managing the budget wisely and being accountable to the government and the people. It is indeed a tough juggling act for them, and one that they perform with great passion!

Personally, sport is an integral part of my life. In my younger days, my game of choice was field hockey, and I played it through my teenage years, representing my secondary school and junior college. I would eagerly follow the Singapore men’s and women’s hockey teams during the SEA Games, tracking their progress on the news, watching the games on television, and clipping the newspaper articles. I even harboured thoughts of representing Singapore one day! Alas, it was not to be and these days, I play hockey recreationally.

Playing hockey has rewarded me with a group of firm, like-minded friends. Till this day, we meet up occasionally for a game. The passion for the sport is still within us, although due to fitness (or lack of it), we would book an entire pitch but end up using just one quarter of it! Nonetheless, we have fun playing together and re-living our school days.

Being with Deloitte allows me to enjoy other sports, such as running and football, and I participate in inter-department and corporate games with my fellow colleagues. I also play futsal once a fortnight, and have been doing so for about two years now. It gives me a good workout but can be quite strenuous on the joints. I make sure I stretch well before and after a game. On weekends, I would catch the English Premier League matches on television, supporting Tottenham Hotspur. My support for them goes way back – since the Division One league days, when it was still being shown on free-to-air TV.

I have always had a natural affinity for the SEA Games. It is probably the only sporting event where Singapore sends a large contingent of athletes. I am filled with a sense of pride and belonging when I watch the Singapore flag being raised to the tune of our national anthem during medal presentations. One of my favourite sports to watch, besides hockey and football, is swimming, as Singapore always does well in swimming at the SEA Games – with the likes of Ang Peng Siong, David Lim and Joscelin Yeo.

For the 28th SEA Games, while I support the organisers in the back room, I would like also to cheer for Singapore sportsmen together with my colleagues in Deloitte. To me, among other lessons, sports have taught me discipline and responsibility – values that I live by and what I hope to inculcate in my children. Bringing them to the SEA Games would be a good place to start!


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