Conduct frequent spot checks on entities operating on donations

In view of the guilty verdict on six City Harvest Church (CHC) members in the misuse of church funds ("Six accused in City Harvest trial guilty of all charges"; last Thursday), the office of the Commissioner of Charities (COC) should conduct frequent spot checks on the funds of all churches, mosques, temples and other places of worship run on donations from the public and/or the Government.

If not for the whistle-blower, who should be commended, CHC's financial scandal would not have surfaced ("Important to protect whistle-blowers" by Ms Annie Ng Lee Hoon; last Saturday).

The office of the COC, however, shouldn't wait for tip-offs from whistle-blowers. It should take proactive and preventive steps to nip such possible scandals in the bud.

Pavithran Vidyadharan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2015, with the headline 'Conduct frequent spot checks on entities operating on donations'. Print Edition | Subscribe