Get tough on street fund raisers

Volunteers and salesmen congregating at overhead bridges, walkways, bus interchanges and MRT stations, aggressively asking for donations, is becoming an increasingly common sight.

The bridge linking West Gate Shopping Mall to Ng Teng Fong Hospital in Jurong East is one such example.

With so many people out there trying to raise funds, it was not surprising to read about the police report filed by the Singapore Heart Foundation against some volunteers claiming to raise funds on its behalf ("Charity files police report over group of volunteers", Feb 22).

Many of these fund-raising activities are conducted on weekdays during the lunch and evening peak hours.

Occasionally, these volunteers place their banners and other items right in the middle of the pedestrian bridge, blocking the way and inconveniencing users.

I understand that these so-called volunteers are paid commissions for what they raise. This probably explains their over-enthusiasm.

Could the National Council of Social Service be more stringent in granting permits to charitable organisations, and also make clear where these fund raisers are allowed to operate?

The authorities should also look into acting against companies and organisations that conduct such activities in areas where there is high human traffic.

Christopher Teo Kian Lam

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 25, 2017, with the headline 'Get tough on street fund raisers'. Print Edition | Subscribe