NGOs welcome idea to start commission


‘Establishing body to monitor charitable bodies will build trust’

NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisations (NGOs) in Johor are open to the idea of setting up a charity commission to monitor and oversee them.

They said it was a good move that would not only weed out irresponsible groups taking advantage of the generosity of Malaysians, it would also help regain and maintain public trust.

Free Market Johor coordinator Zaharah Raishan Mohd Yassin said such a body should have been established years ago.

“It is about time we have such a commission. In fact, it should have been established from the very beginning.

“There are some NGOs taking advantage of the public using the name of charity.

Zaharah: Having a commission monitor NGOs can help charities regain public trust.Zaharah: Having a commission monitor NGOs can help charities regain public trust.

“Their irresponsible actions have also affected us, making people sceptical of all NGOs, even the genuine ones.

“The setting up of such a commission may help regain public trust as they will know the charities they support are truly doing work,” Zaharah told StarMetro.

She said following a scandal involving an NGO, some of her donors had started questioning her organisation.

“I have been running this NGO since 2016, and no one has questioned me before about where the money goes.

“But since the scandal, people are doubtful of NGOs carrying out charity work.

“I do not mind explaining and answering people as I have nothing to hide.

“However, it can be very disheartening and demoralising to be questioned every step of the way,” she said.

Zaharah said the commission should be bipartisan and include people with extensive experience in NGOs as well as corporate leaders.

“Most importantly, political party members should not be involved,” she said.

Chia says it is important for NGOs to stay true to their cause to gain public support.Chia says it is important for NGOs to stay true to their cause to gain public support.

Companion Animal Rescue Effort Society (Cares) chairman Joseph Chia echoed Zaharah’s views, stressing that it was important for NGOs to stay committed to their cause to gain public trust.

“It is a good move which will benefit everyone.

“However, a criteria should be drawn up if charities are required to register under a commission.

“This is because many charities, including those moving individually, may not be able to be included if the criteria is too strict,” he said.

Meanwhile, Johor Baru Shechinah Association president James Issachar has no issues with the setting up of a commission but wants its role to be clearly stated.

Issachar has no issues with the setting up of a commission to monitor NGOs, but says its role must be clearly stated.Issachar has no issues with the setting up of a commission to monitor NGOs, but says its role must be clearly stated.

“The commission must make its functions known,” he said.

“It is important to ensure that this body does not overlap with other agencies.

“It should not micromanage NGOs in the name of monitoring.

“Under the commission, we should be able to operate freely as we are doing now,” he said.

In February, it was reported that there were calls for a charities commission to be set up to ensure effective and transparent fund-raising policies, especially for large-scale efforts.

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NGOs , charities , trust , donors

   

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