'Fund-raising' cyclist under investigation

'Fund-raising' cyclist under investigation
Mr Rahim Resad, 44, with his bicycle at Venus Drive on July 09 2014.

A cyclist who publicly pledged to raise funds for Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) through a trip around Borneo is under investigation after allegedly failing to give the beneficiary a cent, even though it has been a year since the event.

Police reports have been lodged against Mr Rahim Resad, 44, by the hospital and a donor. The Straits Times also understands that the office of the Commissioner of Charities is reviewing the matter.

Mr Rahim, who used to coach ultimate frisbee, had said on Facebook and in Malaysia news reports last year that his Ride Around Borneo (RAB) trip was an effort to raise money for the hospital's Community Charity Fund.

Mr Tan Swee Kian, who works in an online business selling bicycle parts, bought two RAB T-shirts for S$25 each last year. "I tried asking him on Facebook last year how much money he collected, or how much went to charity, but he didn't really answer to the point," he told The Straits Times.

After learning that Mr Rahim was launching a book called The Man Who Rode Around Borneo this month to chronicle last year's trip, Mr Tan decided to check with TTSH about the money.

A spokesman told him that the hospital was not aware the trip had gone on after a French co-rider pulled out.

Last week, the hospital put up a notice on its website and on Facebook revealing: "We have not received any monies from and we are not associated with RAB in any way. We have reported the case." Mr Tan also went to the police.

Mr Rahim did not respond to calls yesterday, but had told Chinese paper Lianhe Zaobao last week that he raised about S$1,600 from sales of T-shirts.

After covering expenses including his air tickets and T-shirt printing costs, he was S$2,300 out of pocket. He told Zaobao that he will be donating the sales proceeds from 70 shirts to the hospital.

Later this year, Mr Rahim will cycle solo for about 24,500km from Norway and plans to reach home in time for Singapore's 50th birthday celebrations in August next year. Dover Park Hospice was initially identified as a beneficiary of the trip, but it pulled out last Friday. It did not elaborate why it chose to do so.

This article was first published on July 16, 2014.
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