There’s a lesson to be learnt in the Roy Ngerng fiasco.
a.) Don’t accuse your Prime Minister of being a criminal without proof
b.) Don’t anyhowly solicit for donations
We’re not going to kick a man when he’s down, so no point harping on point a. above.
However, the point of note for us is: can we use the internet to ask for money?
As there isn’t a provision for collections solicited from the internet, the closest law that Roy could flout is this:
The House to House And Street Collections Act
If any person promotes a collection, and a collection is made in any locality pursuant to his promotion, then he needs a licence.
Without the licence, Roy could be be guilty of an offence liable to a fine of not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both.
Does his site “The Heart Truths” constitute a charity?
If “Heart Truths” is a charity, or if his buddies at Gilbert Goh’s Transitioning and Jolavan Wham’s TWC2 wants to act on his behalf, then he would flout this:
The Charities Act, Prohibition on conducting fund-raising appeal without permit
According to Part VIII of the Charities Act, Roy is prohibited to conduct fund-raising appeal without a permit.
No person shall conduct or participate in any fund-raising appeal unless the Commissioner is convinced that the fund raising is conducted in good faith for charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purposes.
The words “charitable and benevolent” is open to interpretation - it is going to be hard to convince a Judge that a majority of Singaporeans consider his intentions as such.
Political Donations Act
Is Roy associated with any political party? He’s been seen on very intimate terms with the National Solidarity Party (NSP) and the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP).
At his events, I have heard that politicians have either come to support him, or to speak. Is the HeartTruths a body that writes on behalf of these parties?
He also has been seen giving comments that he wishes to run for political office:
If any of these are true, and although weak arguments, his intentions could be seen as political ambitions.
If so, then he may be flouting the Political Donations Act.
But nevertheless, the man clearly wants to get into Parliament - even if it is by the route of the Nominated Member of Parliament.
Audit of books
Whatever it is, to be fair to his donors (and to the Singaporean public), he ought to have his books audited.
Roy claims to have achieved $36,600 in two days after he made his online appeal. That’s more than the $30k Chee Soon Juan raised in 10 days in 2012.
How true is this, is not a matter of big concern. What I’m more curious about is… how is he intending to spend this money? Is it to pay his lawyer for administration (like he says so in his blog), or is it to pay off the defamation charges?
But the poor boy, his friends have been posting pictures of him eating plain rice and taking buses.
If you’d like, see if you want to send him some money for his purpose. We don’t need to give you the link, you can search for him easily on Google :)