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Chan Chun Sing: ‘Not possible’ to detect fraud in government review of charities

Posted by temasektimes on July 9, 2012

The charging of pastor Kong Hee and four other members of City Harvest Church for misusing the church funds last week raised serious questions on why government review of seven charities in 2008 failed to uncover the lack of compliance with regulations in the church.

In response to the question from Nominated MP Lawrence Lien in Parliament today, Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Chan Chun Sing explained that “governance reviews carried out on a charity should not be seen as an audit or investigation to detect fraud or mismanagement of funds.”

Instead, such a review is aimed at improving governance and regulatory compliance, while not overburdening or stifling charities.

“While we would like a governance review to detect as many signs of trouble before it arises, I must say that because of the limited nature of the governance review, it may not be able to uncover everything altogether,” Mr Chan said.

Mr Chan also clarified that the inquiry into City Harvest Church initiated in May 2010 was not triggered by the 2008 governance review, but by feedback and complaints on possible misuse of church funds received in early 2010.

The sensational case shocked the entire nation, further denting public confidence in Singapore’s charities following the NKF and Ren Ci scandals.


21 Responses to “Chan Chun Sing: ‘Not possible’ to detect fraud in government review of charities”

  1. Utter Rubbish said

    What nonsense is he talking about? If the governance review cannot detect the massive problems within CHC, then what is the point of the review in the first place? Check if their toilets are clean? Or review Sun Ho’s crappy slutty songs?

    • 龍的传人 said


    • Peer Boredull said

      We need to bear in mind that review is not equal to investigation. It is indeed quite difficult for governance review to uncover intricate malpractices. Imagine doing a work review with your supervisor, most likely you will present only the good things you have done and your supervisor will in turn encourage and perhaps give you pointers on what you can improve. If you have managed to cover your tracks diligently, the only way to expose any wrongdoings is to have a whistle-blower to tip off an investigation. Especially in CHC case, the board is not independent of the management.

  2. weak justice said

    haha someone here trying to do “tai-chi” moves, eh?

  3. Ah Chan the fool said

    This idiot like to talk nonsense, it’s equally hard to detect fraud in the government as well

  4. Bernard Deng said

    Ha ha hathat is why a limping Mas Selamat can escape from WRDC.

  5. pay said

    You are paid a million bucks to say ‘not possible’?

  6. weak justice said

    they get new breed of tai-chi clowns that can’t solve problems…come next GE all take mediacorpse acting lesson and cry crocodile tears!!! a waste of tax payers $$$!!!

  7. spotlessleopard said

    However it is easy to detect a taxi claim fraud and postage stamps misuse by Opposition Politician…….hehehehehehe

  8. Go to the MOON is possible and not possible to detect a few hundred millions, unbelieveable. No coverups please.

  9. 龍的传人 said


  10. pngkueh_forever said

    Shocking reply from a minister. What a shame !

  11. Blue Nights said

    There is such a thing called ‘Whistle Blower’ protection and ombudsmanship. Surely Mr. Kee Chiu with so much talent should be able to put these together in no time. I mean, with such a huge majority in parliament, who needs the opposition to come along? He could draft it up in the morning and have a bill passed in the evening.

  12. invictus said

    So in the light of the NFK, Ren Ci and now CHC scandals, what check and balance has the government putting in place to ensure no repeat of these ? Or are our civil servants and Minister still sleeping and waiting for a much larger scandal to blow in their faces ?

  13. Ben said

    When thing nvr happen ppl get caught “we been follow this case , and monitor for long period. When things happen ppl get caught ” we can’t actually detect !! What is this ? Taxpayer money , OMG …….

    Gov dept. are gd in catching this and that ok !! Tones of talent in govrt sector.

  14. Ron said

    I am disappointed with such a stance. Big charity frauds have occured repeatedly. And we are paying such a high salary to the Minister to hear such a meek excuse? Then might as well do not bother to regulate charities… let is be a free for all.

    Charities above a certain size (and that include all religious organizations) must have a Public Oversight Panel with government and public members of good standing. Approved accounting firms must be used to audit their income and expenses frequently.

    To check the barn after the horses have bolted is not the anwer we want.

  15. Lim said

    Then why waste monies on reviews which are useless but just going through the motions to wayang they are doing their work for the salaries they are paid? We expect more intelligent replies than that from Kee Chiu and not the same kind like Khaw justifying the $2200 NParks superbikes not from authorised agent and only one bidder tender exercise. Only 3-year olds will believe babies come out from anal orifices.

  16. 上梁不正 said

    Of course it is not possible. The system of oversight in Singapore is designed in such a way that crooks in the government paying themselves million dollar salaries are regarded as perfectly acceptable. If your net is rigged with such ridiculously big holes so that crooks in the government can swim through easily, then of course it is not going to catch other crooks in charity or religion.

    Kong Hee takes money from people whom he is meant to serve and use it to prop up his talentless wife’s singing career. Lee Hsien Loong takes money from people whom he is meant to serve and use it to prop up his talentless wife’s investment career. There is no difference. If anything, only tens of millions have been squandered through Sun Ho’s albums, but hundreds of billions have been squandered through Ho Ching’s investments:

  17. Ken Lee said


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