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NKF files writ against SPH - Watch "charitable" organisations closely

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  • Mellanie Hewlitt
    Editor s Comments: Attached below is latest grapevine that the NKF is suing SPH. The question is whether the general public should also follow the lead set by
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 28 5:24 PM
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      Editor's Comments:

      Attached below is latest grapevine that the NKF is suing SPH.

      The question is whether the general public should also follow the lead set by
      the NKF and sue the NKF for gross misrepresentation and misallocation of public
      funds?

      Rough estimates and ball park figures indicate that assuming the annual
      operating costs of the NKF is SGD50-60 million a year, their current reserves
      will last them at least 3 to 4 years easily. When/if they are unemployed, most
      Singaporeans do not have 3-4 years of savings in the form of readily liquid
      cash deposits (if we do not count CPF funds which are not accessible even when
      one is unemployed), so it is blatant insult to the public's moral senses that
      the NKF should even approach them for any donations.

      A similiar analogy would be Royalty approaching the plebian proletariats for
      charitable contributions (which they did any way in the form of massive taxes
      during medieval times).

      Finally, this squabble amongst two Government Owned Organisations is a blatant
      waste of tax dollars.

      Singapore's GLCs and State Owned companies (whether they are classified
      as "charitable" or otherwise) have serious transparency issues and
      they need to be watched closely.

      "Some of the organizations have millions of funds in reserves and sinking
      funds. Too much is at stake. It will be a grave dereliction of duty if systems
      are not put in place to protect such funds and assets from being criminally
      manipulated."

      From: "Yadav, Dharmendra"
      Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2004 01:31:05 -0000
      Subject: [singaporemedia] NKF files writ against SPH

      NKF files writ against SPH
      Monday • April 26, 2004
      http://www.todayonline.com/articles/18114.asp

      The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is suing Singapore Press
      Holdings (SPH) over an article in The Straits Times (ST).

      The NKF filed a writ of summons in the High Court on Friday,
      following a lawyer's letter sent to ST on April 19 asking for an
      apology and a retraction.

      ST's failure to comply has "increased" the injury done to the charity
      and its CEO, Mr T T Durai, said an NKF spokesperson. The writ was
      filed against SPH and a reporter who wrote an article, "The NKF:
      Controversially ahead of its time?" which, the NKF said, implied it
      had mismanaged donors' money and was defamatory.

      An SPH spokesperson told Today after it received the letter, the
      company had asked for time to examine the matter and prepare a
      response. It then received the writ on Saturday.

      "We will be looking into this and are unable to comment on the course
      of action at this point." — Derrick A Paulo

      Copyright MediaCorp Press Ltd. All rights reserved.

      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Subject: [singaporeforum] Tan K T: Watch charitable organisations closely

      Rejected by ST Forum

      Ed's Notes:
      1. We thank Tan Kok Tim for this contribution.
      2. To discuss this letter, see
      http://forums.delphiforums.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=sintercom&msg=1722.1

      ---
      Watch charitable organisations closely
      By Tan Kok Tim
      April 17, 2004

      Father Joachim Kang's admission of guilt in court to
      the CBT charges has brought his trial to an earlier
      conclusion.

      His decision has ended the further washing of linen in
      public. He will be sentenced on Monday, 19th April.
      To err is human and to forgive is divine. Many will
      pray for him.

      What can we learn from this case?

      I believe the church is registered under the Charities
      Act and it has to file annual accounts. There is a
      proviso that requires the church to spend 80% of its
      yearly receipts on local charitable activities.

      Are the church's accounts audited and are the accounts
      filed with the authorities?

      Who are the external auditors? Will they comment on
      the unaccounted church funds?

      Will the authorities review the inherent weaknesses in
      the system on how the funds are managed?

      In my younger days I was a member of a non profitable
      organization and I went to great lengths in changing
      its Bye-Laws for the sake of posterity by making sure:

      a] the organization cannot be wound up unless it is
      approved by a unanimous decision of its members;

      b] upon dissolution, the organization has to donate
      its remaining funds and assets to other charitable
      organizations registered in Singapore;

      c] no members shall profit from the dissolution of the
      organisation.

      These basic conditions form the corner-stone of the
      Bye-Laws, which cannot be altered under any
      circumstances. It is meant to prevent future members
      from raiding the assets of the organization. It has
      withstood the test of time.

      Since then, I believe no non profit organisation can
      be registered under the Charities Act unless they
      accept and enshrine similar conditions in their
      Bye-Laws.

      I hope the authorities will continue to remain
      vigilant and introduce updated measures to prevent
      rouge executive members from embezzling the funds of
      charitable organizations.

      Some of the organizations have millions of funds in
      reserves and sinking funds. Too much is at stake. It
      will be a grave dereliction of duty if systems are not
      put in place to protect such funds and assets from
      being criminally manipulated.
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