Chew Eng Han’s witness should be a dire warning to CHC members. Do not forget Jesus’ own teachings on false shepherds, teachers and prophets:
“He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.” John 10:12
Did Kong Hee lay his life down for CHC or run?
Channel NewsAsia reports,
City Harvest trial: ‘Story cooked up’ by Kong Hee & Co untrue, argues ex-fund manager
Senior Pastor Kong Hee and his deputy Tan Ye Peng made controlling decisions for Sun Ho’s music management firm Xtron, Chew Eng Han said as he took the stand.
SINGAPORE: Mr Chew Eng Han – the former investment manager for City Harvest Church – took the stand on Monday (Jan 26), as the high-profile trial also involving five other church leaders resumed.
The six are accused of misusing millions of dollars from the church fund to buy sham bonds from two church-linked firms, with the aim of bankrolling the secular music career of founder Kong Hee’s wife, Sun Ho.
Chew is the fourth accused person to give evidence, and is the only one defending himself.
Speaking in court, he said he broke away from the church in 2013 as he believed that his co-accused had chosen the “most convenient way” of defending themselves. He said the five co-accused, including Kong, claimed that they did not know about the legalities concerning the bonds central to the trial, and had pointed to him as the brains behind these bonds.
“The only reason I broke away was that the story being cooked up was not the truth. Why is so much responsibility being placed on the investment manager?” he said. “I’m not going to be united with a team that chooses the most convenient way to defend themselves.”
Chew has maintained that the investments were genuine.
He also told the court that he was disappointed in the lack of leadership shown by Kong and Deputy Senior Pastor Tan Ye Peng, who is also one of the accused. The “first wake-up call” came in May 2010, after the Commercial Affairs Department had questioned all six of the accused, Chew said.
He said the senior pastor Kong and his deputy Tan did not show any conviction with regard to the bonds and how the proceeds would be used, when questioned by the church’s lawyer, Mr Jimmy Yim.
“When the fire broke out, I didn’t see any leadership, I didn’t see any shepherds. All I saw was fear,” Chew said.
He also said that contrary to what his co-accused had testified earlier, Xtron Productions – one of the companies accused of helping the church misuse the funds – was controlled by the church, and that Kong and Tan controlled decisions at Xtron.
But he added that he did not see anything wrong with this, as Xtron was known to be the vehicle to help the church manage its Crossover Project – the church’s way of reaching out to the masses through Ms Ho’s secular music career.
“Why would anyone divest so much money into a vehicle and not control it?,” he said, adding that such an arrangement was common in the financial world.
Source: By2015, Updated 26/01/2015 23:50. (Accessed 28/01/2015.)
The Straits Times reports,
City Harvest trial: Former fund manager points finger at other accused
SINGAPORE – City Harvest Church’s former fund manager on Monday told the court that if any funds had been misused as alleged, the blame lay with other church leaders who had discretion over how the money was spent.
Referring to several exhibits including e-mails and mobile text messages, Chew Eng Han, in his first day on the stand, sought to show that church founding pastor Kong Hee, deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, and former finance manager Serina Wee were the key decision makers of the allocation of money.
As the trial entered its 89th day, the 54-year-old Chew, who is conducting his own defence, claimed he had been responsible for the structuring of the financial instrument, and not the usage of the proceeds.
“A bond cannot be a sham… a bond is a bond…(and) only becomes a sham if the proceeds of the bond have been misused,” he told the court.
Chew faces six counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and four of falsifying accounts. He is one of six people, including Kong, Tan and Wee, who are accused of misusing $50 million of church funds to boost the music career of Kong’s wife, Ms Ho Yeow Sun, and covering up the misuse.
The prosecution believes that five of the accused, including Chew, channelled money from the church’s building fund into sham bond investments in Xtron – Ms Ho’s management company – and glass manufacturer Firna.
Four of them, including Chew, then allegedly devised transactions to take the sham bonds off City Harvest Church’s accounts so as to throw the auditors off.
A member of the church since 1995, Chew held various positions on the CHC Board until his resignation in 2007 when his company, Amac Capital Partners, was appointed as the church’s fund manager.
He left the church completely in 2013, later telling the court that one reason for his departure was because Kong “deceived the people closest to (him)”.
Throughout his cross-examinations of the other defendants who have testified, Chew had painted Kong as a liar and tried to distance himself from any schemes he claimed had been hatched before he got involved.
The megachurch filed court papers against Amac in October last year, and is suing Chew for almost $21 million in unreturned investments, including $4.6 million in interest. Chew had rejected the claims in his written defence filed on Nov 18.
Source: By Ian Poh and Hoe Pei Shan, City Harvest trial: Former fund manager points finger at other accused, Straits Times, http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/city-harvest-trial-former-fund-manager-points-finger-other-accused, Published 26/01/2015 1:56 PM. (Accessed 28/01/2015.)