Monday, 27 May 2013

Woman behind beleaguered City Harvest Church

Updated 24 Oct 2016: Kong Hee - My wife would become the ‘next Whitney Houston’

It was revealed in court yesterday that CHC founder Kong Hee, had regularly “played up” the success of his singer wife, Sun Ho, in CHC. One of CHC leaders, Chew Eng Han, said that he had been brainwashed by Kong into thinking that Kong’s wife would become “a megastar” like American singer Whitney Houston.

Appealing against his conviction and sentence, Chew, who faces six years in jail, said Kong told them that Ms Ho would be more successful than pop stars such as Taiwanese singer Jay Chou and girl group S.H.E. In fact, Kong touted that his wife would be the “next Whitney Houston”.

Chew testified in front of the judges, explaining why he went along with Kong to support Ho’s pop career with the church’s fund, “If she was touted to be the next Whitney Houston, how would she not be a profitable commercial vehicle for us?”

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Kong Hee Believed Sun Ho would be the “Next Whitney Houston”

Errant City Harvest Pastor Kong Hee, who’s accused of misappropriating church funds, apparently expressed his belief that his church-singer wife would become the next Whitney Houston.

That’s according to City Harvest fund manager Chew Eng Han, who’s also appealing his conviction and 6-year jail term for misappropriating church money.

Before the 3-judge panel, Chew said that Kong Hee had written in an email to church leaders back in 2005 that Ho was a “singing diva”.

related:
City Harvest Releases New Album Featuring “Amazing” Sun Ho Songs
8 Years for Kong Hee, 5 Years for Serina: City Harvest Gang of Frauds Jailed
Kong Hee’s Son went Cuckoo, Still Taking Care of his Deaf & Mute Siblings
Prosecution Wants 12 Years Jail for Pastor Kong Hee and Gang of Frauds!
Ex-City Harvest Devotee: Buying Sun Ho’s Albums and “Investment Banker”
Failed Musician Sun Ho Ordained as Pastor, City Harvest Hails New Leader!
Can Serina Escape Prison & Other Implications of the Gang of Frauds’ Convictions
Man Published S$33K Apologies for Question CHC Fund Usage to Escape Lawsuit
Ownself Buy Ownself: Sun Ho Make it in America? You Must be Kidding Judge!
Jail Awaits, as Kong Hee and His Gang of Frauds are Convicted of CBT
If a S$10Mil Home in Sentosa Cove Isn’t Luxury, Then What Is, Pastor Kong?
CHC Chiobu Serina Played Backup Singer on Music Dud Sun Ho’s Albums!


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Kong Hee allegedly called Sun Ho the next Whitney Houston. Looking at their lyrics, we agree completely

There’s an appeal currently underway involving some members of the City Harvest Church.

An interesting point raised in today’s questioning was the revelation by former fund manager, Chew Eng Han, that Kong Hee thought his wife, Ho Yeow Sun (or Sun Ho) would be the “next Whitney Houston”.

This might actually be an apt comparison, as the two share quite a few similarities — including the fact that Whitney Houston appeared in this movie.


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Sun Ho Ordained as Pastor, City Harvest Hails New Leader!

Failed musician and wife of wayward City Harvest church founder, Kong Hee, had been officially ordained.

The star of dirty dancing music videos like China Wine, who was at the heart of the City Harvest fraud scandal, is expected to lead the church’s next generation of leaders.

In a ceremony over the weekend, Kong Hee, who’s now out on bail while awaiting sentencing for fraud, gave his wife his most precious bible, and essentially said “nah, now your turn to take over.”

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Kong Hee posts video excerpt of Sun Ho’s ordination as pastor

As some of you might have learned, following the City Harvest Church six’s guilty verdict last week, church founder Kong Hee’s wife Sun Ho has been ordained as church pastor in the wake of the high-publicity trial.

Kong, one of the six found guilty of fraud, put up a video on Oct. 19 on his Facebook page, which features a short excerpt of the ceremony:
Kong presents Ho with a bible, saying:
“40 years ago, I became a believer. This is the first bible I owned. And in every ordination normally the ordaining pastor gives a bible. Let this be a symbol of the authority I am handing to you. Sun, this is my bible, it is now in your hands. Let’s give Sun a big clap right now.”
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Who is Ho Yeow Sun?

Who is the woman behind beleaguered City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee, now at the centre of the most shocking probe into a religious organization in Singapore?

Ho Yeow Sun, who now styles herself Sun Ho, is no stranger to controversy or the spotlight.

She is expected to come even under more scrutiny after her husband and four other key ministry members were reportedly arrested Tuesday morning for allegedly using church funds to funnel S$23 million into promoting her music and albums.

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Sun Ho – The woman

At the centre of the trial of 6 City Harvest Church (CHC) leaders is pastor Kong Hee’s wife, Sun Ho. So far, the court has heard that all the financial transactions and “cover-ups”, as alleged by the prosecution, were meant for the church’s Crossover Project – which is somehow to use Ms Ho’s secular pop music to reach out to people and win converts.

Explaining the meaning of the Crossover Project, defence lawyer Senior Counsel Michael Khoo told the court on 22 May that to help convert people to Christianity, Ms Ho, who previously sang gospel music at church services, had to “cross over to secular music”

If the church had directly funded the project and people outside the church came to know of its involvement, that might have “defeated the purpose”, said Mr Khoo. Thus, the church needed external companies such as Xtron Productions to fund and manage Ms Ho’s career.

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PlastyTalk: Did City Harvest’s Sun Ho undergo plastic surgery?

With Sun Ho making lots of headlines recently for the City Harvest trial, something caught our attention.

Did Sun Ho undergo plastic surgery?

Here are some pictures from her younger days till today. Let us know what you think!

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Trial of City Harvest Church leaders: Who's who
City Harvest Church's former finance manager Serina Wee leaves on a lunch break during the first day of the resumed trial at the subordinate courts in Singapore on August 26, 2013.

Trial resumed for the leaders of a Singapore-based Christian church accused of embezzling millions of dollars to finance the singing career of the pastor's wife

City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee and five other church leaders are accused of misappropriating church building funds.

The funds were allegedly used to help further the music career of Kong's wife, Ho Yeow Sun, an aspiring pop star.

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CHC trial: Sun Ho lost more than $14m on album


It was revealed in court yesterday that a loss of more than $14 million was incurred from the production of an album for pop singer Sun Ho.

Ms Ho is the wife of City Harvest Church (CHC) founder and pastor Kong Hee, who is on trial along with five other church leaders for allegedly funnelling $24 million of the church's funds into sham bond investments to further Ms Ho's career

The Shin Min Daily News reported that the loss amounting to $14,372,654 was settled by Indonesian businessman Wahju Hanafi in a payment to Xtron Productions, a music production company that managed Ms Ho from August 2007 to August 2008

related:
Prosecution tried to establish close ties between City Harvest Church and Xtron
$6 million purportedly paid to American production company
City Harvest case: Where the $23 million allegedly went
More about this case

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$13m used to promote Sun Ho's music career "completely honest"

The $13 million pumped into Xtron Productions and used to promote singer Sun Ho's career was "completely honest" and an open matter.
Prosecution's third witness, former Xtron director Koh Siow Ngea, said this in the City Harvest Church (CHC) trial on Wednesday.

Mr Koh, a property developer, was testifying in the trial against six CHC leaders, including founder Kong Hee, accused of committing criminal breach of trust

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Church on trial for funding pop star's career

Singaporean pop music singer Ho Yeow Sun, popularly known as Sun Ho, gets in a car as she leaves the Subordinate Courts in Singapore in file photo from June 2012. Photo: AP 

Singapore's fast-growing Christian community has been shaken by the trial of six evangelical church leaders accused of embezzling more than $S50 million ($40.5 million) to fund the career of US-based pop star Sun Ho

Ms Ho accompanied her accused husband Kong Hee to the Subordinate Courts, but left before prosecutors alleged funds of the City Harvest Church were diverted into "sham" investments.

Ms Ho, whose beautiful voice and daring dance moves propelled her to the top of US charts, is not on trial and early this week was reinstated by Singapore's Commissioner of Charities as City Harvest's executive director after a review found she had not contributed to mismanagement of the church which has affiliates in 48 countries, including Australia

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Sun Ho not in prosecution witness list for first tranche of City Harvest members' trial

Singer Sun Ho is not on the prosecution's witness list for next week's trial involving six leaders of the City Harvest Church, one of whom is her husband, Kong Hee.

This was confirmed by the prosecution on Friday afternoon after it met defence lawyers in court to sort out the logistics.

On Tuesday, Channel NewsAsia reported that the first tranche of the trial will see not more than three key prosecution witnesses. 

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Kong Hee, City Harvest Church Members Deny Using Sham Investments to Hide Fraud
City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee arrives at the Subordinate Courts in Singapore June 27, 2012.

Prosecutors in Singapore have alleged that City Harvest Church founder and pastor Kong Hee and five other associates used dubious investments made to questionable companies to embezzle S$50.6 million ($41 million) from a church building fund to finance the pop music career of Kong's wife, Sun Ho

In the fifth day of hearings on Wednesday, defense lawyers attempted to counter those claims by providing testimony that one of the alleged fake companies, Xtron Productions, was an independent business,financially successful and not under the control of City Harvest Church, according to The Straits Times 

The company's director, Koh Siow Ngea, who previously served on the City Harvest Church board and is a member of the congregation, testified in court Wednesday that Xtron Productions drew in tens of millions of dollars annually through assisting several clients. He also claimed that the church was in no way as involved in decision-making as prosecutors alleged 

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Singapore Pastor Misused Funds for Wife, Court Told 

Singapore’s City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee conspired with five others to misuse S$50.6 million ($41 million) of the church’s funds to promote his wife’s music career, a prosecutor said at the start of a trial 

Kong and the others devised sham bond investments to embezzle S$24 million, money meant for a new church building, using most of it to finance Ho Yeow Sun’s pop singing work, prosecutor Mavis Chionh said today in a Singapore subordinate court. Ho isn’t charged with any offence

“The evidence will show that the offenses were part of a deliberately planned, meticulously coordinated and carefully executed scheme,” Chionh said 

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2 guarantees to cover Crossover Project's losses


City Harvest Church had two guarantees to cover any potential losses from its Crossover Project, it emerged in court on Tuesday.

This second guarantee by the four church members was, in prosecutor 

The first was taken out by Indonesian businessman and church member Wahju Hanafi, who promised to bear any losses arising from pop singer Ho Yeow Sun's music album production and publicity activities.

related:
Sun Ho lost more than $14m on album
City Harvest's media unit producing own trial coverage
Prosecution tried to establish close ties between City Harvest Church and Xtron
$6 million purportedly paid to American production company
Witness said she was not told about background of transactions
Pop singer wife stands by church founder Kong Hee
City Harvest leaders carefully planned cover-up
CHC: What happened
More about this case

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City Harvest Church: 10 Years Of The Crossover Project


Looking back on a decade of God’s faithfulness as City Harvest Church carries the message of the Cultural Mandate across continents through Sun Ho’s pop music career. 

The weekend of Apr. 28 to 29 held special meaning for City Harvest Church, as it held a 10th year anniversary celebration of the Crossover Project. The Crossover Project was an extension of CHC’s mandate to build a church without walls—to bring the Gospel to the unchurched across society, and this included the world of entertainment 

How did it all begun?

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About the case


For two years, from 2010, the Commissioner of Charities (COC) and the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) conducted a concurrent investigation and inquiry into suspected financial irregularities inside the City Harvest church.

On June 26, 2012, five of its leaders, including founder Kong Hee, were arrested over alleged misuse of church funds and alleged breaches under charity laws

The COC revealed that financial irregularities of at least $23 million from the charity's funds have been discovered which it said were used with the purported intention to finance Ho Yeow Sun's secular music career to connect with people. 42-year-old pop singer Ho Yeow Sun, also known as Sun Ho, is Kong Hee's wife 

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CHC defence: Money was transferred to Xtron for Crossover Project


In yesterday’s (22 May) trial of 6 City Harvest Church (CHC) leaders, the court heard how $13 million was pumped into Xtron Productions through a series of transactions for the purpose of promoting Sun Ho’s pop career. Sun Ho is the wife of CHC pastor Kong Hee.

A witness testified that $13 million was indeed transferred from the church’s building fund to Xtron, which originally managed Sun Ho’s pop career. The funds were invested through Xtron bonds, which were in turn used for the production of her music album and its promotion

CHC defence lawyers argued that the funds were used for the church’s Crossover Project to win converts, part of the church’s work. Sun Ho’s secular pop music was to somehow help convert people to Christianity. The defence lawyers put forward the value and validity of the Crossover Project. They said that the Crossover Project was the church’s main vision and mission.

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Sham investments questioned in trial against church leaders


Prosecutors Thursday pressed their case against leaders of a Singapore-based Christian church accused of embezzling millions of dollars to finance the singing career of the pastor's wife

Alleged sham investments by the City Harvest Church – a registered charity – came under the spotlight as prosecutors questioned their first witness, Lai Baoting, the church's former assistant accountant. Through Lai's testimony they tried to show that the church's finance manager and fund manager were involved in the investments

The pastor and founder Kong Hee, 48, and five officers have been charged with varying degrees of involvement in a scheme to siphon off S$24 million to finance the singing career of his wife, who goes by the name Sun Ho in the music industry. 

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AN ANALYSIS INTO THE WEALTH OF CITY HARVEST CHURCH (CULT)


Although I am aware that City Harvest is one of the richest churches in Singapore, I am still shocked that it is rich enough to pay $310 million dollars for a stake in Suntec City. Nevertheless, an entity which is able to amass such wealth is certainly worth studying. I was determined to understand the secrets to the church’s wealth

I apologize upfront if the points raised give offense to loyal followers of City Harvest Church. Please regard this article as a business analysis of the factors that contribute to the wealth of City Harvest Church, not as an insinuation that the Church got rich through questionable means

The fact is that CHC is very rich and this makes for a fascinating academic exercise to examine its sources of wealth. Just treat it as a business case study. I have tried my best to stick to the facts. Please correct me if there are factual mistakes. However, if there are differences in opinions, please disagree with courtesy 

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Singapore Pastor Kong Hee Faces Removal From City Harvest Church

Supporters of City Harvest Church in Singapore appear in an April 2013 public photo on a Facebook page titled "COC Must Not Remove the 8 Leaders of CHC"

The Singapore Commissioner of Charities has given City Harvest Church Senior Pastor Kong Hee and seven of his staff until May 13 to challenge their removal from their church posts amid a criminal case alleging fraud. Meanwhile, church members and supporters are rallying in support of their pastor and ministry leaders

"We are sad to inform you that the Commissioner of Charities has notified the Management Board of his intention to remove eight City Harvest Church leaders and members from their office(s) or employment as governing board member, officer, agent or employee of, or trustee for, the Church," reads a statement from CHC Executive Pastor the Rev. Aries Zulkarnain, who also serves as chairman of the church's management board. 

Among those leaders and members threatened with removal are: Senior Pastor Kong, Pastor Tan Ye Peng, Serina Wee, Sharon Tan, John Lam, Chew Eng Han, Teo Meng How and Jacqueline Tan

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Church Leaders Get Rich or Die Trying

– Random Thoughts of a Free Thinker: Righteousness and Justice for Whom

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Singapore mega-church founder Kong Hee arrested; government says $18M used for his pop singer wife’s career
The Washington Post, 26 Jun 2012
SINGAPORE — Authorities have arrested the founder of one of Singapore’s largest evangelical churches and alleged millions of dollars in church money was used to aid the career of his pop singer wife.

The Singapore Police Force said it plans to charge City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee on Wednesday with conspiracy to commit criminal breach of trust. The police statement Tuesday said four other church leaders would be charged with breach of trust and conspiracy to commit falsification of accounts. Full story

Related:
Singapore church founder arrested in fraud case - Denverpost.com
City Harvest founder Kong Hee arrested for alleged misuse of church funds - Yahoo!
City Harvest founder arrested - inSing.com
Singapore mega-church founder arrested for his pop singer wife's career - Vancouver Sun
Singapore pastor arrested over misuse of $18M - ABS-CBN News
Details of misconduct and mismanagement in CHC - TR Emeritus
Singapore pastor arrested over misuse of US $ 18 mn - NDTV.com
Pastor Kong Hee Arrested For Fraud, Financing Wife Sun Ho's Career - Huffington Post
Ho Yeow Sun's $28,000-a-month Hollywood home - divaasia.com
Singapore Pastor Arrested for Funds for Wife’s Pop Career - BusinessWeek
Song of shame as pastor held - The Standard
City Harvest Church Pastor accused of using donations for wife's pop career - Globalpost
Megachurch pastor arrested for allegedly misusing church funds - Christian Today Aust
Singapore church founder arrested in fraud case - Boston.com
Founder of Singapore’s Biggest Church in Hot Water - WSJ Blog
Singapore Pastor Charged for Funds for Wife’s Pop Career - Bloomberg
Singapore pastor charged in $19 million fraud case - MSN Philippines News
Singapore pastor charged in $19 million fraud case - AFP
City Harvest founder charged - inSing.com
Singapore City Harvest Church pastor charged over funds - BBC News
City Harvest Church Founder 'Stole $24m to Pay for Wife Career' - International Bis Times
Singapore mega-church founder charged with fraud - Asian Correspondent
Singapore mega-church founder charged with fraud - Fox News
Singapore pastor charged over funds for pop singer wife - CBC News
Spore Pastor Allegedly Used Church Funds to Finance Wife’s Music Career - Time.com
Singapore mega-church founder charged with fraud - New Straits Times

City Harvest Church Gave Pastor Roots and Wings

It is rare to find a church that is directly responsible for turning out independent and mature leaders. For Mr. Darren Tan, City Harvest Church (CHC) is spiritual home and a nest from which he takes off for ministry.

CHC ended Darren's, then a young army regular, long search for a church where he could experience God in a real way.

"When I got to know about City Harvest, I started to visit and it straightaway for me it was like home," he said to The Christian Post Wednesday in an interview. "It was almost everything that we (Darren and his wife) felt that God is leading us into."

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A Viral Joke???