What's Trending

Buzz over City Harvest trial, new Canadian PM

Author John Scalzi's post of a conversation with his wife (top) and Australian journalist James McHale's tweet (above) about newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Author John Scalzi's post of a conversation with his wife and Australian journalist James McHale's tweet (above) about newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.PHOTOS: JOHN SCALZI, JAMES MCHALE/TWITTER
Back To The Future star Michael J. Fox trying on a pair of self-lacing sneakers, which were featured in the hit movie franchise and will be released by Nike as actual functioning shoes next year.
Back To The Future star Michael J. Fox trying on a pair of self-lacing sneakers, which were featured in the hit movie franchise and will be released by Nike as actual functioning shoes next year.PHOTO: MICHAEL J. FOX FOUNDATION

Netizens hungry for news as Singapore's most expensive trial concludes with guilty verdicts

CITY HARVEST CHURCH TRIAL

After 141 days in court and an estimated legal bill of more than $10 million, the most expensive trial in Singapore concluded on Wednesday with all six defendants being found guilty of all charges.

Those convicted of 41 charges of criminal breach of trust and falsifying accounts were City Harvest Church (CHC) founder Kong Hee, 51; former CHC fund manager Chew Eng Han, 55; former CHC finance managers Serina Wee, 38, and Sharon Tan, 40; deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, 42; and former CHC finance committee member John Lam, 47.

#CHCtrial trended on Twitter and "City Harvest" was in Google's top 10 search trends in the second half of the week.

Twitter reactions ranged from the snarky (@IanLeong93 tweeted "I would argue that their biggest crime of all is Sun Ho's music videos. #CHCtrial #CHCverdict") to supporters quoting Bible verses (@GJGonzales: "'Many seek the ruler's favor, but justice comes from the LORD.' Proverbs 29:26 NLT #WeTrustInYou #chctrial").

On Google, people were mostly on the hunt for news stories about the trial and the verdict. Certainly, for The Straits Times' website, the story on the verdict as well as other City Harvest-related stories were the top attractions for readers for the week. The Straits Times' Facebook posts on #CHCtrial also attracted the most comments and shares, with most people agreeing with Judge See Kee Oon's verdict.


Author John Scalzi's post of a conversation with his wife (above) and Australian journalist James McHale's tweet about newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. PHOTO: JAMES MCHALE/TWITTER

  • NOTABLE TRENDS

  • #SGHAZE

    The haze was back in the Twitterverse with a vengeance last week as the one-hour

    PM2.5 reading rocketed to a record-breaking 442 in

    the west of Singapore on Oct 19 at 10pm.


    #BOYCOTTSTARWARSVII

    Star Wars: Episode VII was a hot topic last week as the much-anticipated trailer made its debut. Racist trolls started the hashtag to protest against the diverse casting and the Twitterverse promptly schooled them by taking over the hashtag and owning it.


    WILD OTTERS

    A little wildlife drama played out last week on YouTube. User Fast Snail posted a video of an illegal angler hooking one of a family of five otters and it went viral. The video has attracted more than 50,000 views. The man believed to be responsible for injuring the pup is now assisting police with their investigations

Facebook user Hwa Heng Kan commented: "It was quite obvious from the evidence that they were out to defraud and a guilty verdict was the most likely. What is amazing is that a substantial number of their followers still support them and believe their prosecution to be the work of the devil."

O CANADA

Forget Kim Kardashian. Last week, it was a hunky 43-year-old former snowboarder and high school teacher who broke the Internet.

Mr Justin Trudeau led Canada's Liberal Party to a stunning victory in the country's polls on Oct 19 to become its second youngest prime minister. The youthful politician comes from celebrated political stock - his father Pierre Trudeau was a charismatic prime minister who held office for 15 years and he grew up in the public eye during his father's tenure in office.

Thanks to his movie star looks - those tousled curls, that Roman blade of a nose, those twinkly

blue eyes - social media instantly went gaga.

Canadian public broadcaster CBC/Radio Canada rounded up some of the online drooling, including Australian journalist James McHale's tongue-in-cheek tweet and author John Scalzi's hilarious conversation with his wife Krissy.

South-east Asia was not immune to the new Prime Minister's charms either, especially when news emerged that his ancestral roots had a Malayan connection. Both The Straits Times and Malaysian papers ran articles noting that Mr Trudeau is the great-great-great-great-grandson of Major William Farquhar and his wife, a Malaccan woman of French-Malay descent called Nonio Clement.

BACK TO THE FUTURE

Oct 21, 2015 was one of the days Michael J. Fox's character travelled to in the hit movie franchise. And the day was commemorated in various ways in the media and in the real world. The Straits Times ran a graphic exploring gadgets featured in the movies which have come to fruition in the real world.

Shoemaker Nike scored a clever publicity stunt on the day too. The company sent Fox a pair of self-lacing sneakers, which were featured in the movie and which Nike will release as actual functioning shoes next year. The Michael J. Fox Foundation tweeted a video of Fox trying out the sneakers, which instantly went viral.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 25, 2015, with the headline 'What's Trending Buzz over City Harvest trial, new Canadian PM'. Print Edition | Subscribe