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Singapore’s financial management board of Hindu temples to tighten measures to keep track of gold inventory

The Hindu Endowments Board can even perform extra audits every year, together with unannounced ones, Culture Minister Edwin Tong mentioned

Singapore’s Hindu Endowments Board (HEB) is taking steps to enhance the monitoring of all actions of gold objects throughout the 4 Hindu temples that it manages, the Culture Minister mentioned on March 1, weeks after a former Indian temple chief priest was charged with misappropriating and pawning gold jewelry. Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, informed Parliament on March 1 that the temples’ management committees would tighten oversight of the gold inventories of their temples, Today newspaper reported.

The HEB can even perform extra audits every year, together with unannounced ones, Mr. Tong mentioned.

Mr. Tong was replying to a query requested by parliamentarian Murali Pillai if the HEB had executed a evaluation of the case at Sri Mariamman Temple and if steps had been being taken to forestall a repeat.

Kandasamy Senapathi, the previous chief priest of the 149-year-old Sri Mariamman Temple, was charged on February 16 with allegedly misappropriating 172 items of jewelry from the temple over 4 years from 2016-2020. He later pawned them for over SGD 2 million ($1.5 million), wiring SGD 140,000 ($105,247) abroad through the interval.

Mr. Senapathi, 37, is going through 5 costs of legal breach of belief as an worker and 5 counts below the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act.

Mr. Tong mentioned that the HEB conducts routine audits in any respect 4 temples, together with Sri Mariamman Temple on South Bridge Road in Chinatown throughout the central enterprise district, to be sure that all ceremonial jewelry is correctly accounted for.

The different three temples overseen by the board are Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangoon throughout the Little India buying precinct, Sri Sivan Temple in suburb housing property of Geylang and Sri Vairavimada Kaliamman Temple in Toa Payoh housing property.

After the incident at Sri Mariamman Temple, the HEB commissioned a particular audit of gold inventory in any respect its temples to be sure that all ceremonial jewelry had been accounted for. No different irregularities had been discovered.

The board has since additionally worked with the Commissioner of Charities to evaluation and strengthen its governance and inside controls, to guarantee correct safekeeping and management of gold objects, in accordance to the Singapore tabloid.

It will proceed working with every of its temple management committees to forestall abuse and flouting of governance controls.

“HEB, in collaboration with the Commissioner of Charities, will also be sharing the lessons from this episode and best practices with other Hindu temple charities, so that all temples can do their part to continue to improve the management of the temples,” Mr. Tong mentioned.

Mr. Senapathi’s case has been adjourned until March 15.

For every rely of legal breach of belief, an offender will be jailed for up to 15 years and fined and for every rely of coping with the advantages of legal conduct, an offender will be jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to SGD 500,000 ($375,887).

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