Tags

, , , , ,

This article looks at Chew Eng Han questioning Sun Ho in the witness stand over her album sales in the courts of Singapore. As you read the transcript, you will notice that the figures do not add up and that Sun Ho conveniently doesn’t remember important information in spite of the evidence presented in court.

Mrs Light n Friends reports,

19 May 2015 – Sun’s EIC (Part 2)

Continue from part 1 – How many albums were sold?

Chew: So it didn’t occur to you that the more credible source would be Xtron?

Sun: I didn’t actually dwell in the details of this whole incident. I remember that I was also preparing to meet Steve and his work team, the marketing team. So I basically just asked them to help me find those articles and, you know, send it to whoever that needed some verification. Yes.

In relation to the meeting with Steve Greenberg.
Chew: What happened at this meeting?

Sun: It was actually a very positive meeting, your Honour. We talk about how to move the album forward. I remember that the head of marketing was there, and we listened through the songs. And everyone concur that the best song to be played in the radio would be “Fancy Free” for the first song. And we were just talking about the radio promotion, etc… just basically plans to move the album launch forward.

Chew: And so basically after this meeting, did Steve Greenberg agree to be involved in this album?

Sun: Yes, your Honour. In fact, in that meeting, Steve didn’t even bring up this matter, and it was the work meeting in his office, and his whole marketing team was there. And everyone was very positive and excited about the album.

……

Chew: So …from February to 31 May 2010. What happened subsequently with Greenberg and S-Curve?

Sun: I remember that there were several correspondence and talks between the managers and, you know, and I know that the lawyers were just finalizing the contract. And I remember Johnny mentioning it that Steve really wants to do this, and he’s upset with his lawyer taking so long. I don’t know what are the fine prints, you know, that they were finalising, but I know that by June, before I came back to assist in investigation, your Honour, we were very close to signing the contract.

Chew: And that’s the contract between yourself and S-Curve?

Sun: That’s correct. For S-Curve to do the marketing and the distribution, your Honour.

Chew. What was your expectation at that time for the album launch?

Sun: Your Honour, I didn’t talk about unit sales. But when I met the marketing team, everybody was very, very positive. And my feeling from Justin and from Johnny, everyone really feel that this album will make it big; we will have commercial success of the album. So in my mind, I still think that, you know, it will be maybe a million or so.

Chew: A million or so copies. Right?

Sun: I didn’t talk about the numbers, but because Wyclef and I have always talk about multimillion, so to me, it would be around that kind of number.

BB Message from Tan Ye Peng to MarkTYP said:
Dear Mark,I know you’re on your way to meet Steve. This is just a recap of what I sent you previously.”Mark Replied
So per album, Sun sold between 500k to 800k?

Chew: So Mark went with you to see Steve Greenberg?

Sun: That’s correct, your Honour. I believe a team of us went there.

Chew: And Mark is your creative director?

Sun: That’s correct, your Honour.

Mark message to TYP, he said: ” So per album, Sun sold between 500k to 800k?”

Chew: Do you see that?

Sun: Yes, I see that, your Honour.

Chew: This 500 to 800k actually refers to the Mandarin album. Because if you take 4 million copies, you divide the five albums, it’s an average of 800,000 copies per album. Correct?

Sun: That’s correct, your Honour.

Chew: Of all the five Mandarin albums, was there any if particular that performed better than the others, or did they all perform similarly?

Sun: In terms of the mission, I believe that…

Chew: No, just in terms of profitability, or number of copies sold.

Sun: When it comes to the number of copies sold, your Honour, I don’t have personal knowledge of that, except that I remember that “Gain” won a mention, or had the press conference mention I had sold more than 500,000 copies. So I didn’t keep track of how well each album sold. But the feeling that I got from the managers and the record company, your Honour, and also at the end of each concert, your Honour, throughout the Crossover Project over the world, fans will be waiting for me to autograph, and I saw them purchase the album. And thousands have attended the concerts. So the feeling that I got was that the albums sold well.

Kong’s Blog
Chew directed Sun to open up another exhibit. This is Kong Hee’s personal blog. At the bottom of the first page, the last paragraph below Sun’s photo Kong wrote:

Wholesome Shallowness?
September 22, 2009I urged Sun to help me embody that message. In 2002, she launched her new career in Taiwan as a pop singer. Since then, she has done very well with more than four million units sold, five multi-platinum records and over 30 number one songs in five different countries.

Chew: This blog by Kong Hee is quite well read, by the members especially. Right? So it seems like Kong Hee has that same number as you, 4 million units. Right?

Sun: Yes, your Honour.

Chew: Sun, do you know how much an album sells for?

Sun: Your Honour, does Eng Han mean by ‘per unit sales”?

Chew: Yes, per unit.

Sun: I actually don’t really know. Maybe around the range of $17 to $22, or something.

Chew: Yes. It’s about $17 to $18.

Sun: Okay.

Chew: If you had sold 4 million copies over the five albums and you multiply that by $17, Xtron would have earned $68 million in revenue. And if that was the case, Xtron wouldn’t have been scrambling for money to fund the US album. Does it make sense?

Sun: Yes.

Chew: So there’s no way you or Kong Hee could have believed that you had sold 4 million copies of the Mandarin albums.

Sun: Your Honour, actually, I don’t know the financial status of Xtron or how much Xtron has earned. I don’t have personal knowledge of that.

Chew: It’s actually simple mathematics. $17 x 4 million = $68 million.

Sun: Yes, but at the material time, your Honour, I actually don’t know Xtron’s financial status.

CHC AGM on Apr 27 2003.
Chew directed Sun to open up another exhibit. [CH-20b] This is the transcript of CHC AGM on Apr 27 2003.

It says:
In April 2001, while on a mission trip to Hong Kong, God, through Swedish Pastor Ulf Ekman gave her a prophecy that she would one day sing to millions in Asia and to presidents, prime ministers and kings.

Chew: This is what you testified earlier, about your trip to Hong Kong with Pastor Ulf.

Sun: That’s correct, your Honour.

Chew: The context of this is this was the 27 June AGM and this was told to the members. Okay?

Sun: Okay, your Honour, yes.

Chew: It goes on to say, “The word became a might confirmation of the direction God was leading Sun into. One year later, in April 2002, the first ever cross-over Mandarin pop album, Sun with Love, was launched in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. It became an overnight hit and sold 150,000 copies.”
Do you see?

Sun: Your Honour, I’m not sure of the exact unit sales for “Sun With Love”. The only number that I have impression of was I was given double platinum, I believe, in Singapore. That would amount to about 30,000 copies. And what I sold in Taiwan and all over the world, I don’t know how many copies.

Chew: So you’re not sure if Kong Hee was accurate in his numbers?

Sun: What I’m saying is, your Honour –

Kong’s lawyer stood up.

SC Tong: Your Honour, before Mr Chew talks about the numbers here, if he looks at page 7, just the page before that, your Honour will see that the speaker I a female speaker, not Pastor Kong. Could he establish who is saying these words before he puts the questions?

Chew: Yes, I apologise, your Honour. Actually, this was a video that was played to the EGM. So it wasn’t Pastor Kong.

SC Tong: No. This is after the video, there’s a female speaker 1. So could he establish that? He has to have a basis for making the questions.

Chew: I’m sorry, what do you want me to establish?

SC Tong: Because it has been suggested that these numbers are not accurate from Pastor Kong. First of all, that’s not correct. Second, if he wants to continue to ask questions about the truth or otherwise of these passages, then he’s got to establish the maker of these statements.

Chew: Your Honour, I retract that statement about Pastor Kong being the one. It’s actually played in a video to the members. I cannot establish who spoke that, but it was a pre-recorded video that was shown to the whole EMs. And the impression that was given to all of us was that first Mandarin album sold 150,000 copies.

Eng Han brought Ms Sun Ho to another email exhibit. E-146. (This email is dated September 28, 2007.  Sender Serina Wee to Tan Ye Peng. It contains Xtron cashflow and things to be noted)

Sun said she launched her first Mandarim album, “Sun With Love” in 2002 and the last album “Embrace” in 2007. In between 2002 to 2007, she got pregnant, she believed there were two years she didn’t launched any album.

Chew: All right. After each album is launched, would the sales come in within six to 12 months?

Sun: Your Honour, actually, when it comes to sales, how it’s being tabulated or how much or when the money comes in, I have no visibility to that, because I am not in charge of that. My role is to be the singer for the Crossover Project.

Chew: Along the way as sales are being chalked up, do you get yourself updated on how much is selling?

Sun: No, your Honour. I was very busy travelling and actually during the time of the Asia Crossover Project, whenever there is time, I actually fly back to America, your Honour, to do the singles. So it has been a very hectic few years for me. I don’t really ask questions like that, because I have the impression that the Crossover Project was a success, everyone was very happy about it, and I saw the people coming to the concert.

Chew: You gave evidence earlier that Warner Brothers told you that “Gain” album sold 500,000 copies. Correct?

Sun: That’s right, your Honour. It was in Taiwan that they held a press conference.

Chew: If you go to the spreadsheet which you are on now and click on “Sun Royalties”, the tab at the bottom. Yes. Scroll up right to the top. You have the heading “Royalties due to Ho Yeow Sun as at 31 December 06″. Do you see that?

Sun: Yes, your Honour.

…….

Chew: So if we add up your Singapore sales, 5,735, to the Taiwan sales of CDs and DVDs, 40,943, and the KTV market in Taiwan is 14,000, we have about 60,000 copies.

Sun: Yes, your Honour.

Chew: So Sun, it’s impossible for you to have sold 500,000 copies of “Gain” album. Do you agree?

Sun: Your Honour, I don’t know how they tabulate these figures, and I don’t know is this the final figure. All I know was that I was in a press conference and this statement was made by the general manager of Warner. And I remember that I waived royalties for the “Gain” album too, certain portion of it, so I’m not sure how this whole thing is tabulated.

Chew: Sun, what was the percentage of your royalties you earned?

Sun: I’m not entirely clear. I remember it was somewhere around 10 per cent or so.

Chew: Yeah, actually it’s in the table. If you scroll up to cell G27. Do you see 0.14?

Sun: Yes, your Honour.

Chew: That’s your royalty percentage.

Sun: Okay, yes, your Honour.

Chew. When you waived the royalties, you knew how much you were waiving?

Sun: I actually don’t know how much I waived. I usually when it comes to my royalties and my personal finances, I left it to Kong.

Chew: Did you waive all the royalties or you received some of it?

Sun: I think for this album, it would be a portion of it. But how much, I don’t know.

Chew: No, for all the albums.

Sun: I remember, your Honour, for the first three albums, if I’m not wrong, I would have waived all of it. And then for the fourth and the fifth, I would have waived a portion of it.

Chew: And what happened to those that you waived? Did it go into good works or …

Sun: Yes, your Honour. The royalties that were waived will be used for humanitarian work and for mission.

Chew: Do you have an estimate of how much went into those works from your pocket, or those royalties that you waived?

Sun: I’m not entirely sure, your Honour. When it comes to my personal finances, I left it to Kong. I do remember vaguely that there was an interview or something, and at that time I think it was said that I have contributed a few hundred thousand dollars for humanitarian work.

Chew: That’s the total figure, right, a few hundred thousand?

Sun: I cannot really remember the details of the article, your Honour.

Chew: Sun, if you had sold 4 million copies and you multiply it by $17 million, that’s $68 million. If you multiply that by 14 per cent, you would have got royalties of about $10 million. You didn’t get those royalties. Neither did you waive $10 million of royalties. Correct?

Sun: That’s correct, your Honour.

Chew: So it seems like we have wild fluctuations in your album sales. In one version, it’s 4 million copies over five albums. Kong Hee tells the EGM it’s 150,000 copies for the first album “Sun With Love”.

SC Tong: Your Honour, could he correct that please?

Chew: Sorry. In the video in the EGM, it was said 150,000 copies. And now in Xtron’s own book which was managing you, it’s only 60,000 copies. You’ve got Warner Brothers telling you 500,000. You think there’s a press article that says 4 million, but that 4 million is found in Kong Hee’s blog.

Sun: Your Honour, I actually have never visited my husband’s blog. This is the first time I actually saw it. So I don’t think I get the impression from him or his blog.

Chew: Maybe that’s why he shut it down.

Sun: Sorry, your Honour, I don’t what he meant?

SC Tong: Your Honour, I really don’t appreciate comments like that. I mean, he’s here to ask questions, not give comments.

Chew: Sun, after all the evidence you’ve seen, do you think you were a success in the Mandarin album market?

Sun: Your Honour, I believe that the Crossover Project is a success and I feel very honoured to be part of it. I’ve been performing in all those outreaches concerts. I’ve seen thousands and tens of thousands of people that came for the concerts and responded to Jesus. And at the end of the concert, I’ve autographed physical copies of the CDs, seeing people buying it. I know that people have connected to the songs. I do believe that the Crossover Project is a success, and I’m privileged to be part of it, your Honour.

Chew: Sun, I agree that as far as the missions aspect of it was concerned, we did see souls get saved, because I was at two of the concerts. But I’m really talking about the commercial aspect of the album. Because you know the six of us are in the dock because of the commercial aspect of the album.

Sun: Your Honour, the impression that I have all this while is that the CDs has sold well. The people that I interacted with, whether is it the record company, the managers, or Wahju, or the pastors that have organised the outreach concerts, everyone was happy. I do believe that the album has sold well. I don’t know is it 4 million copies or not, you know, I don’t have personal knowledge of that or how things are tabulated. But I do believe that it definitely has sold more than 15 to 20,000 copies.

[Mrs Light: Read the blackberry messages again. Sun wrote “I need newspaper reports Johnny is thinking of a million for one record cos we said 4 millions sold for 5 albums. I remember there were articles reporting something like that.”]

Chew: But definitely not 500,000 to 800,000 copies per album?

Sun: Your Honour, I don’t know how they tabulate the numbers and I don’t know whatever that is shown here on the table, is it finalised figures. So I cannot comment on it.

Chew: Sun, actually, I’ve already told you the simple logic of it. Because if you had sold 4 million copies, Xtron would be rich today, we don’t have to borrow from Wahju or from Suhardiman or Pak Roy. Do you agree?

Sun: I don’t know, I really don’t know the financial status of Xtron and I don’t know the expenses of Xtron, your Honour. So I don’t know am I the best person to comment on it. All I knew was that the album did sell well. That’s the impression that I have.

Chew: So before you went to meet Steve Greenberg with Mark and the team in the US, did you finally get any evidence? Because you were not sure whether he was going to ask you about the figures, you would have gone there prepared. Right?

Sun: No, your Honour, because I think that the number was a bit far fetched, so I left to it the team. I asked them to find newspaper articles, and so I kind of just left it there, actually.

Chew: Oh, so you thought that 4 million was far fetched?

Sun: No, I think that 15 to 20,000 copies was far fetched.

Chew: You were happy to leave the meeting with Steve Greenberg not dealing with this issue of how many copies of the Mandarin albums you have sold? Because as you said, the topic never arose. Right?

Sun: Not just that, your Honour. Because in my mind, the albums has sold well in Asia. I don’t need to know how many copies, I mean, this has never been my role or my responsibility. And at that time, my mind was very focussed in launching the US album. I was very happy, your Honour, with the meeting with Steve and his team, and we were talking about plans, how to move the launch of the album forward. So I didn’t think much after that about this matter.

Sun Ho cross-examined by SC Edwin Tong

SC Tong handed up a Taiwanese press article concerning the “Gain” album.
This is a publication from the Taiwanese press. SC Edwin Tong adduced in court that the sales of Ho Yeow Sun’s album exceeded 500,000 copies in the whole of Asia.

SC Tong: What was your relationship with Warner Music Company at that time?

Sun: They are my record company

SC Tong: Yes. So would they be familiar with the details of sale?

Sun: I would presume so, your Honour.

SC Tong: In relation to sales made of your album, Warner Music Company woul have a financial interest in the sales as well. Correct?

Sun: That’s correct, your Honour.

SC Tong: Did you have any reason to believe that the general manager of Warner Music Company would be telling an untruth to the press conference?

Sun: No, your Honour. I would not have reason to doubt him.

SC Tong: In fact, would this figure of 500,000 be consistent with your own sense approximately of the level and volume of album sales?

Sun: It would be, your Honour. Because all this while, I’ve always have the impression that the albums sold well.

SC Tong: This Taiwanese press article, would this have been commonly available among CHC members at that point in time?

Sun: Mh…hmm..

SC Tong: The context of my question is obviously there is an interest of the members in your successes. At that time, you had just released a new album, “Gain”. You were touring and performing in Taiwan, you were achieving success on the album, and here is a press article about you. If you look through the rest of the article, at least one or two more other Singaporean artistes. So do you recall if this article was something that CHC members would have been aware of and known?

Sun: They could be aware of. Usually the church, because they’re so supportive of the Crossover Project, your Honour, when there’s positive news like that, an article like that, or the news, might be circulated. But I’m not 100 per cent certain, your Honour.

In relation to the S-Curve blackberry messages
SC Tong: Right. Just on the article that I showed you alone, if you look up the pin chain to your pin and I think Mr Chew earlier explained to you that although it comes from Kong to Ye Peng, it is actually your message. Right?

Sun: That’s correct, your Honour.

SC Tong: So when you say: “… I only sold 15-20k albums! And he was very, very shocked …” First of all, that would also be shocking to you. Correct?

Sun: That’s correct, your Honour.

SC Tong: Because it would be apparent just from “Gain” alone that Warner Music Company, the GM himself, is announcing at a press conference, which the Taiwanese press picked up, that in Asia you sold 500,000 copies. Right?

Sun: That’s correct, your Honour,

SC Tong: I think to use your words, that must make the figure of 15 to 20,000 extremely far fetched. Right?

Sun: That’s correct, your Honour.

SC Tong: In fact, it would be a completely baseless suggestion. Right?

Sun: That’s correct, your Honour.

SC Tong: At that point in time and to put the proper context, this is February 2010. When you first received news that the figure of 15 to 20,000 was told to Steve, at that point in time, can you briefly describe what you were in the process of doing with Justin and Greenberg? What were you trying to achieve?

Sun: Your Honour, I believe that we were at the tail end of the production, and I would have rehearsed and prepared to be on the road. So I know that Justin and Johnny Wright, they were working out a contract with Steve Greenberg. That would be what happened during that time.

SC Tong: As far as you’re aware, would EMI Asia be a competitor to S-Curve, and in fact also to Justin?

Sun: Your Honour, I didn’t think so much. I just knew that I never work with EMI Asia and I thought to myself why would they make a comment like that?

SC Tong: All right. EMI Asia has no links to S-Curve. Right?

Sun: At that time, I believe that S-Curve has a distribution contract with EMI. Perhaps that’s why Steve reached out to EMI Asia and wanted them to, you know, give him some kind of feedback.

SC Tong: I see. But that distribution contract with EMI that S-Curve had has nothing to do with the albums that you were asking S-Curve to distribute. Correct?

Sun: That’s correct, it has nothing to do with them.

SC Tong: In that respect, as far as your albums were concerned, EMI has no links to S-Curve. Right?

Sun: That’s correct.

SC Tong: They have no commonality of interest. Correct?

Sun: That’s correct, your Honour.

SC Tong: Thank you.

……..

SC Tong: The context of it was at that point in time, I think with the assistance of Justin, you were trying to negotiate a distributorship arrangement with S-Curve. Right?

Sun: That’s correct, your Honour.

SC Tong: The concern at that stage would be if the sales would not be high enough, then S-Curve may not be prepared to go and do it on certain terms. Right?

Sun: I don’t know what was the concern, your Honour, for S-Curve. But I guess when Steve heard about the number, there was some concern, yeah.

SC Tong: All right. I think BB pin chain at BB-98 culminated in yourself and Mark Kwan going to see Greenberg, and you recall in the morning, Mr Chew asked you what happened after this. Do you recall?

Sun: Yes, your Honour.

SC Tong introduced some more new documents in the court. One is an email document related to S-Curve distribution terms.

SC Tong: I think you gave evidence earlier that subsequently, there were discussions between the lawyers and, ultimately, an agreement was never signed. Right?

Sun: That’s correct, your Honour.

SC Tong: But at this point in time, March 2010, these were the terms that had been proposed from S-Curve. You see below the name “Justin” five points?

Sun: Yes, your Honour.

SC Tong: Were these the points that Justin forwarded from S-Curve?

Sun: I would presume so, your Honour.

SC Tong: The first point says: “2 LPs firm. If Sun achieves platinum in the US on the second LP , you will get a third.” What did you understand from this?  [LP = Long Play]

Sun: That S-Curve will be able to continue to be my marketing and distribution team if they help me to achieve platinum for the album.

SC Tong: In fact, they are now committing upfront to two albums, two LPs. Correct?

Sun: Yes.

SC Tong: Did you get the impression that after the meeting with Mr Greenberg around 8 or 9 February, S-Curve was not prepared to continue to distribute your LPs?

Sun: No, your Honour, I don’t have that impression. In fact, the meeting went very well, and everybody was very excited.

SC Tong: Were they in any way concerned with the suggestion that EMI Asia had put across, which is 15 to 20,000 album sales in Asia?

Sun: No, your Honour. To the best of my recollection, when I met them in New York, it was not being brought up, and subsequently nobody talked about this. Not Justin nor Johnny.

…..

SC Tong referred Sun Ho to another email document.

SC Tong: There were obviously some revisions made, but if you just look at the anticipated CD release at this point in time, being April 2010, look at the CD revenue for 1 April 2011 release. Do you see that?

Sun: Yes, your Honour.

SC Tong: Look at the assumptions of unit sales. Do you see the figure of 1 million? Assumption of 1 million unit sales in year 1?

Sun: I think I’m a little bit lost. Which line is that, your Honour?

SC Tong: Let’s start from the beginning.

SC Tong: Yes, “Unit Sales”. Then look at the top, “Assumptions”, 1 million. Do you see that?

Sun: Yes, your Honour.

SC Tong: That would be the unit sales at this point in time that was being discussed between Justin and Jill. Correct?

Sun: That’s correct, your Honour.

SC Tong: I heard your evidence earlier about not having been involved in great detail concerning the numbers and the projections. But let me just ask you this from the perspective of you first being the artiste, and also, as you said this morning, being on the ground with Justin and Wyclef. Your impression after this meeting in February with Greenberg, was there any pessimism? Was there any concern that you would not be able to reach the original target?

Sun: Your Honour, after my meeting with Steve and his marketing team, there was great confidence. I came home really looking forward to the launch of the album. And at no time did I get the vibe from Justin or Johnny or the team from S-Curve that anyone has any kind of doubt that we cannot achieve commercial success for the album.

SC Tong: Was there any concern that S-Curve would want to pull out of the distributorship?

Sun: No, your Honour, I never get that feeling from Justin or Johnny.

……

In relation to Kong Hee’s blog.
SC Tong: You remember in the morning you were shown 4D-42, which was Pastor Kong’s blog.

Sun: Yes, your Honour.

SC Tong: You said you didn’t see it at that time. Right?

Sun: Yes, your Honour.

SC Tong: But it would have been, I think in Mr Chew’s own words, it was something that was regularly visited by church members?

Sun: Yes, I remember Eng Han saying that, your Honour.

SC Tong: It’s certainly something that Mr Chew himself would have had access to. Right?

Sun: I would presume so, your Honour.

SC Tong: He had taken issue with the 4 million figure in the blog. Until this morning, did he ever bring that up to you?

Sun: To the best of my recollection, no, your Honour.

SC Tong: Until this morning

Chew stood up.

Chew: Your Honour, is Mr Tong asking me to give my evidence on whether I read the blog?

SC Tong: Your Honour, I’m not asking him for anything. May I carry on? I’m obliged, your Honour. Let me repeat the question: until this morning, as far as you are aware, did Mr Chew ever take issue, whether in his own blog, whether in his discussions with you, whether in planning the budgets or the bonds, or in any discussions that he was involved in, did he ever question the 4 million?

Sun: Your Honour, to the best of my recollection, I don’t remember Eng Han bringing this up to me until this morning.

In relation to the Video broadcast on April 27 2003
SC Tong: The number mentioned was 150,000.

Sun: Yes, your Honour.

SC Tong: Do you recall Mr Chew ever bringing this up in any forum, capacity, blog or email whatsoever until this morning?

Sun: To the best of my recollection, your Honour, no I don’t remember having a discussion with Eng Han about this.

SC Tong: Had Mr Chew questioned the success of the Asian Crossover previously?

Sun: No, your Honour. I don’t remember Eng Han questioning the success of the Asian Crossover previously.

Source: 19 May 2015 – Sun’s EIC (Part 2), Mrs Light n Friends, http://mrslightnfriends.com/19-may-2015-suns-eic-part-2

Advertisements