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Chew Eng Han wanted CHC “to fund the Crossover Project “openly and directly””. Kong disagreed and said, “if the church was seen to be financing Ho’s career, those outside the church would perceive her popularity and success to be “not real” – and if she was not perceived as a bona fide secular singer, the Crossover Project would then fail”.

Why would Kong Hee say this? What’s real about the making of a celebrity? And what’s real about Sun Ho’s success if CHC had to spend half a million dollars buying her unsold CDs to make her look popular?

Channel News Asia reports,

City Harvest trial: Chew says he deferred to Kong on Crossover Project funding

SINGAPORE: Chew Eng Han, the former investment manager of City Harvest, said in court on Friday (Aug 15) that he wanted the church to fund the Crossover Project “openly and directly”, but deferred to founder Kong Hee’s preference to keep it discreet.

The Crossover Project, fronted by Kong’s wife Sun Ho, is the church’s way of evangelising through secular pop music.

Chew said Kong decided to keep the church’s financing of the project discreet after the “effect and sting” of allegations by former church member Roland Poon in 2003 – that church funds were being misused to promote Ho’s pop career.

Taking the stand, Kong said if the church was seen to be financing Ho’s career, those outside the church would perceive her popularity and success to be “not real” – and if she was not perceived as a bona fide secular singer, the Crossover Project would then fail.

Chew, who is conducting his own defence, pointed out that co-accused and former church board member John Lam had also been in favour of the church funding the project directly.

In an email in May 2003, Lam suggested the church openly finance the Crossover Project, so there would be no need for the transfer of funds and other withdrawals. This was a stance Chew said he agreed with, but was not “100 per cent enthusiastic” because he knew it was not Kong’s position.

“Because you were my Senior Pastor, I deferred to your wisdom and decision,” he said to Kong.

Kong and Chew are among six church leaders on trial for misusing millions of church dollars to fund Ho’s secular music career.

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