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.