Crisis Centre banned from making fund-raising appeals for 6 months
Charity watchdog says six-month suspension comes after investigations raised 'serious concerns'
Registered charity Crisis Centre (Singapore) is not allowed to conduct fund-raising appeals for six months from yesterday, said the Commissioner of Charities (COC) in a press statement.
The Commissioner of Charities, Dr Ang Hak Seng, said there had been feedback about the fund-raising appeals conducted by the charity.
He said: "Investigations to date have raised serious concerns about the charity's governance, record-keeping practices and ability to be accountable to its donors."
He added the suspension will safeguard public interest while further investigations are pending. The suspension order was issued under Section 39B(1A) of the Charities Act, which allowed the COC to prohibit or stop the conduct of any fund-raising appeal by any charity or person at any time.
During this period, Crisis Centre can still continue with its daily operations.
Crisis Centre was set up as a society last January and was granted charity status in May last year.
It provides shelter for men who are homeless or are at risk of being homeless.
Apart from basic necessities, it also provides residents with programmes that help them become more self-sufficient.
Yesterday, Crisis Centre posted a two-page statement on Facebook saying the COC's suspension order was excessive and that it would completely deplete its reserves.
It added it might not be able to continue assisting its beneficiaries because of this.
With a monthly overhead cost of about $30,000 to maintain two shelter units, it called on the Government to reconsider the six-month suspension, which might mean the end of the organisation.
In August last year, the charity had attracted negative publicity when a video of some of its volunteers mocking people with disabilities went viral.
In the video, a man wearing a polo shirt with the Crisis Centre logo was seen imitating the way a disabled person walked, drawing laughter from the background.
Crisis Centre apologised on their Facebook page, saying the incident was an isolated one.
In yesterday's press statement, COC advised people to not feel pressured into making a donation immediately when approached by fund-raisers.
The public should ask who the beneficiaries are, and can also verify the legitimacy of the fund-raising appeals via the Charity Portal at www.charities.gov.sg/Pages/Home.aspx