City Harvest Church funds manager allowed to travel

A second man embroiled in the City Harvest saga has successfully applied to travel overseas.

But Chew Eng Han, the mega church's investment manager, had his initial bail doubled to $1 million on Thursday as a result.

This is the same bail amount for City Harvest founding pastor Kong Hee, whose application to travel was granted a month ago.

While Kong is believed to have flown to the United States and Taiwan for church events, Chew, 52, said he was going abroad for personal reasons. He declined to say where he is headed, but said he will be making multiple trips.

He told reporters at the Subordinate Courts that he remained upbeat about the court case. "Life goes on for me," he added.

He was the only one of the six accused to show up in court on Thursday for the first pre-trial conference, where lawyers exchange information or evidence with the prosecution, since they were charged for misuse of church funds.The next meeting will be on Oct 4.

The case centres on Chew and five others, including Kong, allegedly funnelling $24 million in church building funds to sham bond investments.

This was apparently to conceal the diversion of money to finance the career of Kong's wife, singer Ho Yeow Sun. They also allegedly conspired to use another $26.6 million of church funds to repay the sums owed. The transactions occurred between August 2007 and November 2009.

limze@sph.com.sg