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Disqualified Indian Leads Temple In Singapore

SINGAPORE: A former official of a Hindu temple in Singapore has been charged in a court here for acting as its board member despite being disqualified for offences involving deception, according to a media report.

64-year-old Ratha Krishnan Selvakumar was on Wednesday charged with acting in the capacity of a governing board member of Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple despite his conviction on May 9, 2017 in 10 offences, involving deception, under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, the Straits Times reported on Thursday.

According to the report, the police said on Wednesday that Selvakumar continued to be involved as the temple secretary and trustee while under disqualification between May 9, 2017 and April 30, 2018. Next hearing in the case is scheduled for July 15.

It said that if convicted of acting as a governing board member or key officer or trustee of a charity while disqualified, Selvakumar faces a fine of up to SGD 10,000 (USD 7,191), jail of up to three years, or both.

The Commissioner of Charities had barred key board members of the temple, including Selvakumar, from their posts on April 30, 2018 after an eight-month probe found “severe mismanagement” in how its money was managed, according to the report.

Under the Charities Act, any person who has previously been convicted of offences involving elements of dishonesty – including fraud, corruption, bribery and deception – is disqualified from acting in the capacity of a governing board member, key officer or trustee of any charity, it said.

Operations and daily services at the temple have not been disrupted and continued as usual, the report said.

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