Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Why the light touch for big charities will not do.

This is not a posting about religion but an organisation's practices. I do not wish to see comments on religion because it is irrelevant to this posting.

“A governance review is not meant to be an audit, much less an investigation or formal inquiry to detect and establish fraud or mismanagement,” - Minister Chan [Link]
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So how is fraud detected?
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"He said the COC also makes use of other sources of information, including feedback, complaints or whistle-blowing, to assess if an investigation or a formal inquiry into a charity is necessary." - [Link]

In 2003, a parishioner by the name of Roland Poon wrote to Straits Times about what he saw as questionable practices and misuse of funds in City Harvest Church[Link]. Nobody in authority and the media helped him. He was threatened with a lawsuit forced by the church to apologize by paying for a $30,000 ad in the Straits Times. It was only in May 2010 that an inquiry into the use of funds in City Harvest was conducted. Long before COC decided to act, the public already knew something was not right at City Harvest. The leaders led a lavish lifestyle living in expensive properties, driving luxury cars and their method of raising funds. They associate themselves personalities like Benny Hinn [Link] who is considered a con-man in America by many Christians and non-Christians/ Other characters like Phil Pringle (CHC advisor) associated with the church is under watch by Christian groups in Australia for his controversial activities[Link].
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With increased religiosity and  unscrupulous men who will use religion for personal enrichment, is the light touch of COC sufficient? I would prefer an more proactive and intelligent approach applied to the big charities that should be subjected to tighter regulation and closer supervision. .
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An organisation urges its members to sacrifice and contribute while its leaders stay in the most expensive housing in the country, travel in luxury and possess wealth that is hard to account for should be sufficient to serve as warning signs to trigger action from the authorities. Taking a more pro-active approach can reduce the period of time these potentially fraudulent schemes can operate and reduce the number of people hurt by it.
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"...... Basically, there are members who were sacrificing their "lives" away - ordinary people who make a honest living working hard, sacrificing/delaying their life goals to contribute to the church operating/building fund and yet somewhere out there, there were so many people giving into a seperate account unknown to more than 70% of the congregation." - Netizen whistleblower "Ronald Wong" who has warned about CHC for several years[Link]

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have no comments.
Just keep my fingers crossed and say a little prayer everyday wishing all the best for Singapore and true blue Singaporeans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R37DsDj8OSQ&feature=results_main

do not lie to your own people said...

A lot of people use charities for their own personal gains. A lot of people also become a party leader for their own personal gains. These are not new. Singaporeans just have to learn to wise up and be skeptical about everything around them. Cannot depend on government for everything because they may also have their secret agenda.

Anonymous said...

I don' understand why an organization that pride itself as a regulator and stress on code of charity conduct won't reproduce something as simple as the site below.

http://www.charitynavigator.org/

It gives you all the facts, management, structure, money spent and collected, etc in a clear and open format. It educate the public at large.

Why are we paying millions to such organization for doing nothing useful for the public?

Anonymous said...

Some one has pointed out that these day and age,it is very easy for government(Any government)to make mistakes,so it is important to detect the mistakes early and correct them.
Hence the need for whistle blowers,
but our record has not been good,
like NKF and CHC,are two most recent examples.

Anonymous said...

"Taking a more pro-active approach can reduce the period of time these potentially fraudulent schemes can operate and reduce the number of people hurt by it."
Lucky Tan

But sometimes such people deserved to be hurt by their own stupidity. Then it will serve as a lesson to them.

But unfortunately they still do not learn. So there is nothing much Lucky Tan or anyone else can do except blog about it, often to no avail.

Anonymous said...

Regulate with a light touch.
This means the regulator does not want to work too hard.

This means he is lazy at best?
Stupid and ignorant at worst?

Anonymous said...

Regulate fraudulent toxic financial products with a light touch.

Regulate fraudulent charities with a light touch.

Regulate our SMRT with a light touch.

Regulate YOG budget with a light touch.

Regulate our CPF money with a tight fist and heavy hand?
Why?

Anonymous said...

They are uncertain how best to deal with this situation. Precedents will be set and they will have to know how to handle any issue that may arise from their actions.

Uncertain, unsure, confused, afraid.

It is a very delicate matter since religion is involved and they want to be sure that whatever action they take, a safe course would be to follow the Charities Act.

But safe is not good enough.

This calls for strong, convincing leadership. That will not come.

No one in Parliament has the backbone to move this forward.
Only a Nelson Mandela, or Nixon or Margaret Thatcher can do this.

I wonder if we dangle a 5 million bonus ......

Anonymous said...

U r rite, Lucky. There r just too many frauds in the religious sector. The government must act and act fast to tighten supervision of these organisations to prevent good Singaporeans from being cheated.

Anonymous said...

Govt. must do this.
Govt. must do that.

This is not your grandfather's government.

Learn to govern yourself.
Try to be less stupid when you give money to charity.

Anonymous said...

of course, you may regulate it with a light touch in good faith. But once wrong doing is found or detected, you respond it with a hard heavy kick.

Anonymous said...

I think you guys are missing the point here. This is Christianity you are targeting for accountability. Christianity is first and foremost not about performing charitable works. Their central mission is to convert people into their faith. The converted are then taught to give to this purpose, growing the church, and hence build the house of god on earth. For this reason, Christianity is unlike charitable organization with no agenda except to help the unfortunate.

Christianity, on the other hand, has been packaged to appear like "charitable organization" or to perform like charity is highly misleading.

CHC did what they did because they aim to "take the market place" for God.

If you strip away the religious cloak, Christianity is nothing but a corporate entity whose CEO is the senior pastor or chief priest( realized they enjoy similar perks of irreligious CEOs in some cases?) .

Charity only serves to conceal their real mission on earth or their "corperate greed".

So when LT said this is not about religion, he has failed to understand why Christianity enjoys a "lighter touch" approach.

Christianity and their "fraudulent ways", to a certain extent, is protected by law or probably, Christians with influence.

CHC pushed the limits and the others did not does not make Christianity any less culpable.

Poison do come in small doses too.

Anonymous said...

One really marvel at why our Ministers are paid millions for their incompetence at handling fraudulent toxic financial products, fraudulent charities, the the frequent breakdown of our SMRT, the over budget of the YOG. Little corrective actions were taken on matters that cause sufferings to the citizens.
But look at how eager they are to regulate our CPF money, instead action not beneficial to the citizens are speedily taken.
The government only act to make governing as easy for themselves as possible, welfare of the citizens are of lesser importance. The Ministers just want easy job but million-dollars pay.

Anonymous said...

The truth is that quite a number of our civil servants n ministers were sleeping on the job for the past 10 years. Think about the underbuilding of HDB flats, the congested transport system, massive influx of foreigners, recent corruption cases etc. It is reflection of the complacency that is already in the system.

Anonymous said...

If you're so passionate about politics and want to improve singaporeans' lot, why don't you do something concrete about it? Or do you instead want to gauge whether people's opinions resonate with yours? Or perhaps, it is a mere hobby. If it is, it borders close to passive complainer or perhaps you're an active observor.

The most important people in singapore are the 60.1% who continues to endorse the PAP's policies. We are now experiencing the drawbacks of endorsing an overdose of pragmatism.

Because of overpragmatism, 60.1% singaporeans don't mind seeing 60 and 70 year olds ah ma and ah pa cleaning toilets and clearing up food utensils. There is no respect for the elderly and the singapore adult doesn't care much about these things.

It is appaling that what pastor con hee did is more alarming than the blatant disregard for the human condition in singapore.

You may serve NS and reservist and die for the country but the state will not subsidise (universal healthcare) for the dying and sick NS soldier.

These 60.1% singaporeans are rats.

Anonymous said...

"The truth is that quite a number of our civil servants n ministers were sleeping on the job for the past 10 years. Think about the underbuilding of HDB flats, the congested transport system, massive influx of foreigners, recent corruption cases etc. It is reflection of the complacency that is already in the system."

HDB stopped the production of BTO HDB flats because the government needed sand for their casinos to be built in time. So, they stopped production of hdb flats during this period to build gambling centers.

That's why so many young singaporean couples couldn't get a flat and have to wait for a long time to get their btos.

Do you think this is effective governance? Now, the casinos have been earning some cash, they now have sand to build hdbs. You have to suffer lor.

Anonymous said...

When the public gives to church.....probably more than 3/4 of the monies go into paying their staff(some drive luxury cars,live in luxury condos etc), mission objectives like turning your sons and daughters into religious zombies(money cows)....and building bigger better and fatter buildings to accommodate their huge egos.
If so, why lament that they misuse the money?
The church does not exist to do charity....it exists to save you from your stupidity, sins and sanity
Why so many think well or impress by their "charity" this I don't understand
Uncles give sweets(charity) to little girls and lure them into buildings and molest( their souls) or rob them is ok?

Please dont kid yourself and deal with the root of the matter.

Anonymous said...

60.1% of Singaporeans are not only rats. They're more than that.

60.1% of Singaporeans cannot really be honest or morally upright people to endorse such policies in Singapore.

60.1% of Singaporeans think that our school children should not enjoy their childhood.

60.1% of Singaporeans think school children should study like xiao.

60.1% of Singaporeans think that's it's OK to support a policy that locks their CPF and with minimum sum at that. When the government endorsed theminimum sum for CPF, all the banks in Singapore started to do the same.

60.1% of Singaporeans think that it's OK that not every singaporean be covered under a fairer universal healthcare system like Taiwan, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong, etc..

60.1% of Singaporeans think that it's OK that the our CPF be given 2.5% interest and the the interest the government charges on your house is 2.6%, 0.1% more than what you get for your cpf.

60.1% of Singaporeans think that it's OK to pay for unaffordable hdb flats.

60.1% of Singaporeans think it's OK for MAh BOw tan to sleep on he job and not build homes for the young.

60.1% of Singaporeans think it's good not to have minimum wage in singapore.

60.1% of Singaporeans think they can actually retire on their cpf even when it is used to pay for their flat and how are they to earn 2.5% cpf interest when all their cpf is clean every month to pay for the hdb loan of 2.6%?

60.1% of Singaporeans think it is OK that they are being ripped off and assured and cajoled that they do have money to retire in their cpf after paying for their flat.

60.1% of Singaporeans supports these policies.

60.1% of Singaporeans think that it's OK to serve NS and reservist but jobs go to foreigners.

60.1% of Singaporeans think it's OK that Singapore is overcrowded and the MRT trains are overbloated.

60.1% of Singaporeans think this is normal just like every other country.

60.1% of Singaporeans think it's OK to pay for exorbitant taxis and car prices.

60.1% of Singaporeans think it's OK to let foreigners compete for space, services, education and jobs in singapore with no singaporean first policy instituted.

60.1% of Singaporeans think it's OK to award the death penalty to someone who traffics 50mg of marijuana; so long that person is not their brother.

60.1% of Singaporeans think it's OK to complain and hope the PAP will change its mindset.

60.1% of Singaporeans think that being short-changed as a singapore citizen is OK as it is bo pian.

60.1% of Singaporeans think it's OK to overspend a YOG budget but not do the same for the destitute in singapore. No debate for overspending a YOG budget but an extensive debate in parliament to NOT increase support for the destitute. And more debates to justify ministers' appetite for sinful paychecks.

60.1% of Singaporeans think that this PAP party will change for the better.

Just because 60.1% thinks that these policies are OK doesn't MAKE them OK.

Anonymous said...

You see Sun Ho humanitarian efforts in HD videos? You very impress and give more money so she can visit third world countries in first class plane tickets and hold skinny to the bones babies to her bosoms?

A few moments of charity to reap the life of pulpit pimps is what this is all about.

Why so impress hah?

Anonymous said...

Even if we lock them up for making fools of society so what?

The religious business in these blood sucking and mind fking buildings are all over Sin.

CHC will continue and business as usual with or without china wine!

Anonymous said...

Your politics and church politics are about the same that's why the... "lighter touch"

Anonymous said...

You solve your stupidity then come and talk lah

Anonymous said...

The power of main stream media(MSM) in the West,how they do it?
http://www.universe-people.com/english/texty_vytahy/htm/en/en_text_ovladaci_programy_sil_temna.htm

Anonymous said...

60.1% are among our closest friends and relatives.

Make it your personal mission to convert just ONE into an Opposition voter.

No need to convert all. Just one.
If everybody does this.
40% will become 80% in GE 2016.

PAP will still form government with 20% of the votes in GE 2016.
Due to gerrymandering.
But 80% votes for Opposition sends a very loud message to the entire world.
About the nonsense that we have here in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

"The church does not exist to do charity....it exists to save you from your stupidity, sins and sanity
Why so many think well or impress by their "charity" this I don't understand"

They should go into politics like in the west or they already are

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah....40% Protestants vs 60% Catholics hor

Even if you shift the percentage....it is still Protestants vs Catholics lol

Anonymous said...

It's no mere coincidence that the words "charity" and "charlatan" begin the same way.

Anonymous said...

Nobody is that stupid to give DIRECTLY to kong hee and sun ho or any charismatic religious leaders but people are STUPID ENOUGH to give to God and the monies which go to "god" will land in the leaders pockets and build them a bigger venue for more money to land in their pockets!

Charity, of course there must be some form of charity or it will not work, works towards their interests.

It builds them a "private clubhouse" for them to run didn't it?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, charity practiced in today's context is a dirty word .

Anonymous said...

Regulating with a light touch.

Policing the criminals with a light touch.

Boss! I'm going to work today with a light touch. Just like our Millionaire Ministers.

Searching for a cure for cancer with a light touch.

Doing our NS with a light touch.

Anonymous said...

I really hate all these charlatans like Kong Hee who keep urging followers to donate and donate until tears come down from their eyes. This is pure nonsense. Everybody need to support their family, aged parents, kids etc. On top of that, they need to plan for retirement, retrenchment and all sort of unexpected events.Basically, a church should just get enough to cover the basic operating costs (including modest salary to Pastors), that's all. Anything in top of that should be strictly voluntary (for those who can afford) and go to support charitable causes.

Anonymous said...

Religious harmony acts is to keep thorny religious disharmony in harmony without riding the roots of disharmony?

It is like sugarcoating poison so it tastes sweet and hope it has no deadly effects on your the body.

I have yet to figure out why you people are so smart

Anonymous said...

Apparently, some idiots still can't see that at least 3/4 of monies donated went into paying for nonsense in churches.

Reason to praise our education system?

Anonymous said...

We must LEGALLY stop charlatans, liars, cheaters and the chronically disillusioned from riping off society and worst, seeding disunity and future conflicts.

So long as they are given a PLATFORM to ply their BUSINESS of peace and goodwill towards men, the likes of kong hee and the men in white robes will surface again and attempt to take over our world - if not,our children's minds(adults too)

Anonymous said...

Charity should be strictly for voluntary work...no paid heads or staff ....no sermons...no expensive buildings to screw with minds....better sill ...all government run or facilitated by the ministry

Anonymous said...

The only safeguard against frauds and liars in the highest echelons of leadership is the mind of a critical thinking citizen.

It is alright to criticize without being constructive.

Truth is always the truth.
It does not need to be constructive to be truthful.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the constructive part will come....but let's call a spade a spade first

How honest are we?

ah lian said...

I opened the party newsletter, The State Times, just now and saw: "Blogger apologises for post on Woffles Wu case". Interesting.

Everything can be kinda regulated with a light touch, except criticisms of Our Leedership, and anything related to it.

"Remember your place in society... You must make distinctions - what is high, what is low, what is above, what is below... people should not take on those in authority as 'equals'." -- Election loser George Yeo

Anonymous said...

FU..half truths....wicked and idiotic rulers deserve no respect and that's why people all over the world go to the streets and tell them off.

Anonymous said...

Kong Hee is not the supreme idiot, his followers are.

Without blind sheep, there shall be no blind Shepard.

Or it is the blind Shepard that gives birth to blind sheep?

Whatever, Christians have proven to be a bunch of idiots

Anonymous said...

Hehe,

the Ex-pious Minister Georgie is still very popular in LTs' Blog.

He must be indeed a devout believer.

Anonymous said...

Since PAP like to control and regulate...why are they so afraid of Christian charities aka light touch? Something is not right, or the "majority" of the cabinet just don't want to.

Ng Eng Hou said...

The slow reaction to this fraud maybe that some members of this church group happen to be from MIW. I suppose when the complaints get more persistent and as the leader gets more clout and power to draw crowds and money, the authority feels threaten and steps in.

MIW feels threatened so they act!

femnutrition.com said...

Just keep my hands surpassed and say a little prayer daily hoping all the best for Singapore and real red Singaporeans.

The said...

/// I think you guys are missing the point here. This is Christianity you are targeting for accountability. Christianity is first and foremost not about performing charitable works. ///

In that case, CHC should not have applied for IPC status. By having its tax-free status, it is accountable to the CoC.

Anonymous said...

We are all born pure. Looking at the heartaches in this world from greed to corruption and oppression and economic slavery' even in this 21st century...I have decided to forgive the world for all the ills and pains it has brought us.

We all live to fight another day in this country.

Anonymous said...

"
"Remember your place in society... You must make distinctions - what is high, what is low, what is above, what is below... people should not take on those in authority as 'equals'." -- Election loser George Yeo"

And this is why we have the world's most unequal society. Just look at ah pa and ah ma selling tissue papers at the train stations, hawker centres and toilets. Why does it say about us as a society when we allow the old folks to eke a living in this way in their old age whatever the situation?

Fucking singaporeans have no respect for the elderly in society. What are they teaching in schools? Study hard and be a millionaire minister?

Anonymous said...

"This is not a posting about religion but an organisation's practices."-Lucky Tan

Let the Christianity-bashing begin...

Anonymous said...

CHC is just another black sheep. It is always more beneficial to pay MP less than their peers so that this type of black sheep can be exposed.

Anonymous said...

In dubious organisations, the members are not treated as "people". They are treated as things to be harvested for the mastermind's benefit.

In business terminology, the sheep are just revenue accounts. Miss one weekend service and the account becomes a lapsed account.

Anonymous said...

The commandments in the poster look just like the one in "Animal Farm".

Anonymous said...

Agree to this. There are many things we can do as citizens... starting from the ballot box. If we continue to be ignorant, prejudiced and attribute blame every now and then without taking a moment to think what we can do for ourselves and our fellow citizen, inspite of all the red tapes, bureaucracy etc, thereby leaving everything to 'the authority who knows best', don't be surprised when idiots sit in positions of 'authority'.

Anonymous said...

Kee Chiu is a joke, with people like him and the other general around S'pore is screwed.

Anonymous said...

Kee Chiu is the best available people to be minister.

Of course, there may be better people than him but they do not want to stand for election under PAP so cannot be minister lah.

And they also do not want to be in opposition lah.

So Kee Chiu become a case of "no fish, prawn also good" lah.

And even "prawn" also not enough, according to Kee Chiu.

So what to do? Import foreign "prawns"?

Anonymous said...

No need to send parents to Johore.

There is plenty of room in Singapore's latest old folk's home.
The Istana.