Kong Hee 'initiator of Crossover project'

City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee arriving at the State Courts on Oct 21, 2015.
City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee arriving at the State Courts on Oct 21, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

Judge See Kee Oon on Kong Hee:


In relation to the Crossover, the project was his vision and brainchild. He initiated the idea of Sun Ho singing and recording secular music, as well as the subsequent expansion of the Crossover from Asia to the United

States. Kong Hee took overall charge of the Crossover and all matters pertaining to the budgeting and financing of the project came under his supervision and instruction. It was from his direction that the other accused persons sought approval and guidance.

I am satisfied that it was on his direction that the Crossover was carried out in a discreet fashion.


(Kong Hee) explained...that he wanted to be discreet about the financing of the Crossover to avoid misconception that Sun Ho's music career was "not real" and that CHC was using church funds in a "cavalier and flippant" way to promote her career... The evidence presented at the trial suggests that if there were any such perceptions, they were not exactly misconceptions but were in fact much closer to the truth than Kong Hee would have wanted others to believe.


I turn now to Kong Hee's defence that he regularly consulted professionals, specifically auditors and lawyers... (and) that the professionals at no point indicated that there was anything unlawful in what was being done... I accept that the auditors were cognisant of a number of things, but there was an important gap in their knowledge, which was the true nature of the relationship between CHC and Xtron.

I find that Kong Hee contributed to giving the auditors the misleading impression that CHC and Xtron were independent entities in that the Xtron directors made decisions on its behalf.


I do not doubt that Sun Ho did enjoy some measure of success as a secular pop singer but Kong Hee appears to have consciously oversold her popularity and potential...He could not possibly have been unaware that her albums were not selling as well as he claimed, given Xtron's dismal financial position which Serina (Wee) has described as being "insolvent". In fact, he had to concede that he was aware that her Mandarin albums were making losses.

WHY IT MATTERS: ST's courts and crime reporter Danson Cheong dissects the case with digital news editor Ernest Luis below.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2015, with the headline 'Kong Hee 'initiator of Crossover project''. Print Edition | Subscribe