Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014
TheBigStory
 
Trial of City Harvest Church leaders resumes

Infobox

Profiles of the six people

Name: Kong Hee

Who he is: Founder and senior pastor of City Harvest Church

Background: Pastor Kong founded the church with his wife Ho Yeow Sun in 1989. He is currently the senior pastor of the congregation, which numbers at over 23,000. Two years ago, the way he ran his church and used the funds raised came into question when the CAD launched a probe on the alleged misuse of church funds and financial transactions which involved 'several individuals and companies, related or connected' to the church.

Name: Chew Eng Han

Who he is: Church board member

Background: Mr Chew is a shareholder in the Business Breakthrough Group, which City Harvest started in 2003 as an 'outreach to the marketplace', according to the church website. In 2005, he was the key person behind City Harvest's move to Suntec Singapore.

Name: Sharon Tan Shao Yuen

Who she is: Finance manager with City Harvest Church

Background: Very little is known about her as she is usually not in the limelight.

Name: Tan Ye Peng

Who he is: Founding member and senior pastor of City Harvest Church

Background: Mr Tan has long been involved in community service. He is also the founder of City Care, a social enterprise related to the church.

Name: John Lam Leng Hung

Who he is: Former secretary of the church's management board

Background: Mr Lam had been involved with City Harvest church since the 1990s when he managed the church's renovation at its old premises at the former Hollywood cinema at Tanjong Katong Road in 1995. The project cost the church more than $1 million. He was quoted as saying then the church leaders believed that it was a good investment at the time.

Name: Serina Wee Gek Yin

Who she is: Former finance manager with City Harvest Church

Background: Ms Wee used to manage the church’s funds before starting her own business. It is uncertain if she still attends service at City Harvest Church but she was an active member for more than 10 years.

SINGAPORE - City Harvest founder Kong Hee had asked for name cards stating that he was the "managing director" of Xtron Productions, the company that managed his wife Ho Yeow Sun's music career.
SINGAPORE - City Harvest founder Kong Hee claimed that his wife Ho Yeow Sun's artist management firm Xtron Productions was independent from the church. Yet he was listed as an "invisible" manager in the firm, while the church's chief operations officer Suraj was its "ghost" director.
SINGAPORE - City Harvest founder Kong Hee was the key decision-maker behind plans to sink church funds into his wife's Ho Yeow Sun's music career in the United States, the prosecution said in court on Wednesday.
SINGAPORE - City Harvest founder Kong Hee did not love his church members and was "not that concerned about the church suffering losses", alleged former church treasurer Chew Eng Han as he completed his cross-examination of Kong on Tuesday.
SINGAPORE - The music success of City Harvest pastor-singer Ho Yeow Sun had been grossly exaggerated, former church treasurer Chew Eng Han said in court on Monday.
SINGAPORE - Former City Harvest treasurer Chew Eng Han called Kong Hee, the church founder, a liar in the first five minutes of trial today
SINGAPORE - City Harvest Church would have openly and directly funded the Crossover Project if former church investment manager Chew Eng Han had his way.
China Wine has resurfaced. Not the alcoholic beverage but the English single by Ms Ho Yeow Sun. You know the one: The video has images of her gyrating furiously to the music in a low-cut, midriff-baring top and nothing shorts.
City Harvest founder Kong Hee and his wife Ho Yeow Sun were both "uncomfortable" with her English single China Wine, even though it was a success and the brainchild of noted music producer Wyclef Jean. It did not fit the image Ms Ho wanted to have as a pop artiste, Kong said as he took the stand for the second day on Tuesday.
There were big plans for the launch of Sun Ho's first album in America - from talk show appearances to spots on popular TV shows such as Gossip Girl, CSI and Dancing With The Stars.
City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee said in court on Tuesday that he had done his best to make sure the church could recover money it had invested in his wife Ho Yeow Sun's music career.
Singapore - City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee said on Wednesday that he had nothing to hide about a series of transactions which prosecutors claim were shams made to enable the misuse of church funds.
SINGAPORE - City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee took the stand for the first time on Monday during the ongoing City Harvest trial, and insisted that he did his part to make sure the use of church funds was above board.
SINGAPORE - As City Harvest Church's congregation grew, the role of its founder Kong Hee turned from that of a "shepherd" to a "rancher", he told the court on Monday.
SINGAPORE - City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee took the stand on Monday in the trial surrounding the alleged misuse of church funds. Follow the developments of the trial today here.
There were plenty of tears as the mega-church at the heart of an ongoing high-profile trial against its leaders celebrated its 25th anniversary over the weekend.
SINGAPORE - Music production firm Xtron was not an "independent commercial entity at arm's length" from City Harvest Church, but a puppet of the church board, prosecutors argued on Friday.
SINGAPORE - The terse showdown between two former colleagues on the City Harvest Church board did not let up yesterday in court.
SINGAPORE - Former City Harvest Church board member John Lam Leng Hung, 46, had raised doubts about projected American album sales of church founder Kong Hee's wife Ho Yeow Sun, he testified on Tuesday.

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Infobox

The woman at the centre of the investigation

Name: Ho Yeow Sun, also known as Sun Ho

Who she is: Co-founder of City Harvest Church, and the wife of founder Kong Hee.

Background: Ho has been married to Kong Hee for 20 years. The couple told The New Paper in a report in 2010 that they 'got married first and then did the courting and romancing later'.

Ms Ho was a constant presence beside her husband when their church took off, and counselled troubled teens at City Harvest Community Services Association, a group she founded. She later resigned from her duties in the church in 2003 to become a singer, but continued to be involved in fund-raising activities for the church.

Ms Ho does charity work and was named Ambassador Of Love by the China Children's Foundation after donating 600,000 yuan (S$123,000) to help build schools in Beijing and Chongqing. The Chinese government designed a series of stamps featuring her to thank her for her donation, making her reportedly the first foreigner to be accorded the honour. In 2005, she opened a street wear boutique, SKIN Couture, at Marina Square. She later opened two more shops at The Heeren Shops and Great World City.

Ms Ho has been based largely in the United States since 2003 to pursue her music career. Since then, she has released several singles in the US including chart-topping dance numbers such as One With You, Without Love and Fancy Free, and living in a Los Angeles US$20,000-a-month property for at least a year.

Five of Ms Ho's English singles have made it into the top 10 of Billboard's Hot Dance Club Songs, with four of them going on to clinch the top spot and the fifth making it to second place. Each single stayed on the charts for between 13 and 16 weeks.