Ren Ci under probe after MOH found financial irregularities


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Reliance

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Ren Ci under probe after MOH found financial irregularities

SINGAPORE: One of Singapore's biggest health charities is being probed for possible financial irregularities.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said it is conducting an inquiry into Ren Ci Hospital & Medicare Centre under Section 8 of the Charities Act.

This is after a review showed that there were irregularities in financial transactions involving Ren Ci and certain external organisations.

MOH added that Ren Ci's past transactions also disclosed other gaps in corporate governance and internal controls.

MOH is conducting the probe as it is the administrator of the health sector under the Charities Act.

MOH said Ren Ci's Institution of a Public Character (IPC) status expires on 27 November this year.

In view of the ongoing inquiry, which will take about three months, the IPC status will not be renewed for the time being.

So, donations made by the public to Ren Ci after 27 November will not be tax-deductible.

Pending the outcome of the inquiry, MOH will evaluate when Ren Ci can apply to reinstate its IPC status.

But MOH will continue to subsidise Ren Ci's patient care services so that patients will continue to receive their medical treatments.

MOH added that it recognises the good work of Ren Ci's staff.

It is also confident that the Ren Ci Board will ensure that professional standards and services remain intact and the day-to-day operations in Ren Ci carry on undisrupted.

The Ren Ci's Board of Management Committee has assured to do this and it also promised to cooperate fully with MOH in the inquiry.

It added that it has "a culture of strong corporate governance and transparency", and when complaints are made, they will be fully investigated.

MOH will announce the findings after the inquiry is completed and will take appropriate measures if there are any breaches.

In July 2006, MOH appointed Ernst & Young Associates to conduct a general review of 12 large IPCs, including Ren Ci.

The review was completed in February this year. It covered areas such as corporate governance structures, internal controls, and compliance with IPC regulations.

Following the review, the individual IPCs were asked to progressively put in place the recommended improvement measures.

For Ren Ci, the MOH recommended that it separates the roles of its chairman and CEO, which until very recently was held by Venerable Shi Ming Yi.

In September, the chairman of Ho Bee Group, Mr Chua Thian Poh (previously a Ren Ci Board member) took over as Ren Ci's chairman while Venerable Shi remains as its CEO.

When Channel NewsAsia visited Ren Ci Hospital and Medicare Centre at Buangkok View on Wednesday evening, auditors from Ernst & Young Associates were carting files into the office.

Ren Ci is believed to be the third largest health charity in Singapore, after the National Kidney Foundation and SingHealth Endowment Fund.

In the 2004 financial year, Ren Ci reported an income of S$22.7million while NKF had S$108.7m and SingHealth $41.3m.

In May this year, the Ren Ci Charity Show raised $7.2m. - CNA/ir
 

reachme2003

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Oct 6, 2003
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with such happenings, no wonder the authorities are looking into regligious orgns with 10mm or more.
 

Nisa

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Aug 13, 2004
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PErsonally, I just felt that the gov't wish to have more control over such donations.
good and bad thing...

but i know i will be donating less.
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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haiz you see this is why people never see the big picture

charities should be run like a business to maximize "profits"; the premise being that if one works harder for the organisation one would thus create more good stuff for the people who deserve it

i see nothing wrong with a donation of $1, only 30% go to patients, it is still within limits
if the people were not that, patients get ZERO, if the people are there, patients get 30 cents. 30 cents is significantly greater than zero, when zero is nothing.
but i guess no one sees the big picture.. they just enjoy taking the higher moral ground

that said, that was with regards to the nkf fiasco when people kbkb about high salary of charity personnel
i do not agree with the extra benefits that fall outside of the job description
same here, if there is suspicious irregularity i think it suffices to say that this is different from having a good salary
well we'll wait and see then; in some sense no one is perfect
 

song

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This may be karma......

God has caught up with some people who sliently do not the correct things. Let wait and see who are these people.
 

drakon09

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Aug 12, 2005
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When you're dealing with huge sums of money, it is inevitable that "some" of it goes "missing" (not necessarily skimmed off, rather, buried under piles of red tape).

No system is 100% foolproof - we just have to hope that all these financial irregularities in charities are caused by innocent mistakes and not something more devious in nature.
 

swampthing

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From the newspaper reports, it seemed that Renci was making 'loans' to companies, but the amounts did not tally. Kinda bizarre.

I don't agree that money should be 'lost', or 30% reaching the people it should is acceptable. 70% yeah; but 30%? Utterly unacceptable.
 

reachme2003

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Oct 6, 2003
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yet to be recovered loan amount of between 200 and 300K was made to a company dealing in artefacts. one of its registered owner is ven ming yi, ceo of ren ci.

st understands the amount is few million dollars.
 

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