Pastor Kong Hee of City Harvest Church Sentenced to 8 years in Jail
Senior pastor Kong Hee of the City Harvest Church was yesterday sentenced to eight years in jail for illegally using $50 million of the church building fund to pay for the pop career of his wife, Ms Ho Yeow Sun.
He will have five others for company in jail who colluded with him in the fraud. They include the former fund manager of CHC, Chew Eng Han, who is said to have received $21 million from the church for investments and good returns.
Church was also Cheated: Chew (in picture above) runs an investment firm but the church has received nothing in return. The church has separately sued him for return of the $21 million it paid him.
Chew Eng Han appears to be now talking as if he is a saint, slamming the pastor and claiming that the church is not entitled to the $21 million he received on the ground that the loan breached the Moneylenders’ Act. I find it an insane argument! The money belongs to the church, the breach is another matter..
It does appear like Chew is playing games to escape having to return the money on technicalities. The fact that he has received the hefty payment cannot be disputed. He also says he will appeal against his sentencing.
Fraudulent activities only spawn more fraud, making the saga murkier.
Lavish Lifestyle: But Ms Sun escaped jail as she was not charged at all. I don’t understand why! She was said to have lived lavishly hobnobbing with the high and mighty in Hollywood.
She is now a pastor at the same church.
Court Charitable: The jail terms are set to commence on January 11, 2016. So, the court has been charitable to the convicts by allowing them to spend the Christmas season with friends and family
What amazes me is that the church congregation is largely intact and most of them are still solidly behind the pastor and his wife. Either the pastor-couple must have genuinely done some good work or the congregation must be smitten by them for some reason.
Good Intent: Their contention is that while they may have committed some mistakes their intent was good – to spread the Gospel.
Cheating and misusing charity funds for evangelism can never be condoned.
Charismatic churches are popular with young Christians because service is more fun there with praise, worship and social networking. Traditional churches, in contrast, tend to be dull with largely boring sermons.
People pour funds into private churches while the traditional ones are generally starved of it.
Who is the victim in the City Harvest Church saga – Pastor Kong Hee or Christianity?
My earlier posts on the issue
G Joslin Vethakumar