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Inquiry into the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

06 August 2018


1. The Commissioner of Charities (“COC”) had on 22 August 2017 instituted an Inquiry into the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple (“the Charity”) pursuant to section 8 of the Charities Act (“the Act”).  The Inquiry revealed severe mismanagement in the administration of the Charity, primarily during the period from 1 January 2011 to 31 July 2014, by certain Management Committee members of the Charity who were the cheque signatories and approvers for payments, one of whom was Sivakadacham (“Siva”), the then Treasurer of the Charity.  Siva was subsequently appointed as the Chairman of the Charity on 20 November 2016. 

2. Given the severity of the Inquiry findings, on 30 April 2018, pursuant to section 25(2)(i) of the Act, and with the consent of the Attorney-General, the COC suspended Siva from the exercise of his office as governing board member and trustee of the Charity with immediate effect.  The COC also gave notice of his intention to remove Siva from the exercise of his office as a governing board member and trustee of the Charity under section 25(1)(i) of the Act, and invited representations on the COC’s proposal.

Protection of charitable assets

3. The COC has carefully considered the Inquiry findings and all representations received as to whether a Removal order should be made against Siva.  The COC is satisfied that there has been mismanagement in the administration of the Charity for which Siva was responsible for or privy to or have by his conduct contributed to or facilitated, and that it is necessary to act for the purpose of protecting the property of the Charity or securing a proper application for the purposes of the Charity of that property or of property coming to the Charity.

4. Pursuant to section 25(1)(i) of the Charities Act, and with consent from the Attorney-General, on 6 August 2018, the COC had ordered the removal of Siva from his office as governing board member and trustee of the Charity with immediate effect.  Accordingly, Siva is also disqualified, inter alia, from acting in any capacity as a governing board member, trustee, or key officer in any charity in the future.

5. The COC, Dr Ang Hak Seng, would like to stress that: “Any negative conduct within the charity sector can bring about serious damage and erode public trust in our charities. Hence, we cannot tolerate mismanagement or misconduct in the administration of charities.  Governing board members and key office holders should always act in the best interest of the charities, and be accountable to the public. As stewards of charitable resources, they have a duty to ensure that their charity is well governed and operates responsibly, so that it can continue to be effective and credible in fulfilling its charitable mission. I urge all charities to learn from this episode, and strengthen their board governance and internal controls.”

6. The operations and daily services of the Charity will not be affected and will continue as usual.

Issued by:  

The Commissioner of Charities

6 August 2018

Last Updated: 06 August 2018

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