It’s not new, it’s very rare to happen to you, but when it happens, hopefully you know how to act, and don’t let emotions get to your head.
Examples of seriously top grade crisis includes Lewinsky scandal, Catholic Church scandals, your spy being discovered in another country, political gaffes like tweeting the wrong photo, Olympus money fixing, underaged prostitute ring and school principal, and well you know the recent few. Most of them were professionally handled. The City Harvest Church one was so badly managed you could practically make it a textbook example of what not to do when news breaks.
1. They closed off the church premises – a site normally open to all for prayers and meditation. While at the same time it was publicly announced by the deputy prime minister that the charges levied are against individuals and not against the institution. I do not see closing the premises as a necessary move, but rather it seemed to reflect a loss of direction, not surprisingly since most of the management were indicted. I would prefer if they let the normal folks go about their business and just politely refuse to comment on the issue until further notice.
2. That Christopher Pang issued a public statement against the actions of the Commissioner of Charities, which effectively is challenging the integrity of the CoC’s charge against the church members. Using the words ‘defamatory’ and requesting for an apology is simply too early a jump to judgement. It reflects a lack of maturity and knowledge of the workings of the nation’s, and world’s, legal process. Singapore’s legal system, has maintained a very very strong standing in the eyes of all Singaporeans and also foreigners. (except when it comes to politics, but that’s not relevant here). The Commisioner of Charities, in particular, has in recent years very soundly proved itself in clearing up cases of NKF and Ren Ci hospital mismanagements. To go against CoC’s statement is absurdly foolish, potentially strongly damaging against his personal and also the church’s reputation.
3. The twitter posts of the accused Kong Hee on the day itself were also fairly unnecessary and bordering on the inflammatory. It hints of a social recklessness often see by the obsessively religious, a lack of regret, a distancing from reality. Social media publishing should be very closely managed in crisis periods, and this was obviously not performed.
National Council of Churches president Terry Kee seems to be the only person who has been making sense these two days. He spoke out to disapprove any misuse of funds, did not judge for or against the accused. To cool sentiments, he said both blind pro and against statements are unconstructive.
Non commercial entities tend to be weak in accounting and management practices. Much to learn. But also more overhead.