City folk surprised at re-emergence of ‘serenading’ group


KUCHING: City folk are surprised to see foreigners, believed to be Filipinos, still actively going around several eateries in the city to solicit funds supposedly for a children’s charity in their home country.

The group caught in action.

This despite several news reports, including in The Borneo Post in 2012, which confirmed their activities as illegal since they did not have permit to do so.

A restaurant general manager, Michael Sim, 53, said he was eating with his wife at a coffee shop at Jalan Song Thian Cheok Thursday night when they were approached by a group claiming to be from Give Hope to the Children of Asia.

Comprising one man and two women, the man was strumming the guitar while the ladies sang to serenade the diners.

They also placed a pledge card and a pen on the table and asked for donations, he added.

He however did not cave in, and the group went to other tables.

He nonetheless noticed one of the group members looked familiar as he had seen her a few times previously.

He also doubted whether the donations would go to the charity body or whether it existed at all.

As he remembered past news reports warning the public against such groups, he then lodged a police report at the Sungai Maong Police Station yesterday afternoon.

He hoped that by lodging the report, the relevant authorities would take serious action against these groups of people which he believed were scammers.

On Dec 4, 2012, The Borneo Post front paged a report on the emergence of groups of foreigners claiming to collect donations on behalf of a children’s charity based in the Philippines which raised public concern about their validity.

The Philippines’ embassy in Malaysia was then quoted two days later as saying that individuals who had been soliciting in Malaysia under the name of charity body from the country were without proper authorisation and misrepresenting the organisation.

In this regard, the Philippines Embassy advised all concerned, including Filipino nationals, not to give donations to those who are misrepresenting the said organisation, in Malaysia.