Monday, July 14, 2008

the bigger the tree, the louder it falls....

shi min yi, the abbot of FOO HAI CHAN is now in deep shit! this reminds us of the golden words:

July 15, 2008 STRAITS TIMES
Ren Ci case: Arrest comes after five-month probe
At issue are loans made by the hospital amounting to several million dollars

By Chong Chee Kin

THE long-time head of Ren Ci Hospital, the Venerable Ming Yi, was arrested yesterday and stepped down from all his positions at the charity.

He posted police bail of $200,000 last night and left the Commercial Affairs Department at the Police Cantonment Complex at about 11pm after giving his statement. He was wearing his monk robes.

His arrest means that both the former chiefs of Singapore's two biggest charities - Ren Ci and the National Kidney Foundation - have been implicated in financial irregularities in recent years.

The arrest of the face of Ren Ci comes five months after he went on long leave when the police were asked to probe the charity's finances.

The Health Ministry found 'possible irregularities' in Ren Ci's books after an audit.

At the heart of the issue were questionable loans made by the hospital, amounting to several million dollars. Some of these loans were allegedly given to companies with links to the Venerable Ming Yi.

There were also loans given to a helper with the charity as well as investments made over the years in his name.

As a result of the probe, Ren Ci lost the right to grant its supporters tax exemption for donations.

Contacted yesterday, the monk's lawyers, Senior Counsel Andre Yeap and Mr Hamidul Haq from law firm Rajah & Tann, told The Straits Times that their client has cooperated fully with the authorities.

The Straits Times understands that while Venerable Ming Yi has surrendered his passport to the police, he was told he would be allowed to travel, subject to conditions. His assets were not frozen.

It is understood that Venerable Ming Yi, who is also an abbot at a Geylang monastery as well as several temples in Malaysia and Hong Kong, was arrested for criminal breach of trust.

Mr Yeap said: 'His current intention is to seek vindication and it looks as though this can only be achieved by defending these charges in court vigorously.

'None of the offences related to matters which involved any allegations of personal gain...Some of the matters have already been approved by the board of Ren Ci previously.'

In light of his arrest, Venerable Ming Yi has informed Ren Ci's board that he will step down from all his positions - including his present post as honorary chief executive - 'pending the resolution of the current investigations'.

The 46-year-old shot to fame with his daredevil stunt of abseiling down the 45-storey Suntec Tower Two in the charity's maiden TV fund-raiser in 2003. The show raised more than $7 million in each of its last two runs.

He has been the chief of the charity, which takes care of chronically sick patients, since its inception in 1994.

Ren Ci is the second-largest charity under MOH with reserves of about $33.5 million. It raised about $30 million last year.

It runs two medical after-care facilities, one at Buangkok View and the other at Moulmein with over 444 beds. A third hospital, being built near Tan Tock Seng Hospital, is due to be completed in September.

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