City Harvest Church scandal: crime waiting to happen?
Unless you have been comatose in recent days, thanks to Euro 2012, you’d have read about the stunning news involving City Harvest Church.
The financial scandal dwarfs even that of the National Kidney Foundation. $50 million allegedly misused, a Sentosa Cove apartment, a Hollywood mansion
were some of the mind-boggling revelations.
A twenty-something friend exclaimed: I didn’t know the pastor (Kong Hee) owns a Sentosa Cove apartment!
As I read about the web of deceit concocted by the five accused and their attempts at a cover-up, two words kept recurring in my mind: TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY.
With millions sloshing in the system, a lack of transparency breeds temptation. Who is to know? And a web of deceit is born.
So it is not surprising that this latest scandal has prompted calls for greater transparency and accountability in entities where not millions but trillions are sloshing about like CPF, Government Investment Corporation and Temasek Holdings. So far the regime has resisted such calls.
Its overconfidence in its system is not shared by many. It might have forgotten how in 2010, a $12 million fraud case hatched by two senior officers rocked the Singapore Land Authority.
As long as greater transparency and accountability is absent, the next financial scandal may be just around the corner. And it might make the City Harvest Church’s scandal look like child’s play.
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