Publicise info on charities with business subsidiaries

SingaporeBowling Pte Ltd was set up in 2015 to manage its 38-lane centre, which opened the same year at Temasek Club.
SingaporeBowling Pte Ltd was set up in 2015 to manage its 38-lane centre, which opened the same year at Temasek Club.PHOTO: ST FILE

It is wise of the Commissioner of Charities (COC) to remind charities of the need to keep an arm's length between the charity and its business subsidiaries (Watchdog to keep an eye on charities that run businesses, June 19).

As it is of public interest to know which charities have business subsidiaries, would the COC consider publicising such information?

After all, if charities have business subsidiaries, their capacity to generate income for their causes is different from those that do not have them.

Members of the public would thus be more informed as to whether they are donating to charities that have strong income-generating capabilities versus those that do not.

An equally important reason for publicising such information is so that members of the public are able to know outright how much of their giving is being used for the charitable causes championed versus business activities.

I would argue that public access to such information would suit the COC's vision of a "thriving and trusted charity sector".

Tan Yee Kiat

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2019, with the headline 'Publicise info on charities with business subsidiaries'. Print Edition | Subscribe