“[Subang Jaya] has the most churches per capita in Malaysia, if I’m not mistaken.” — Dr Chris Chong, cited here
By Danial Ariff Shaari
One wonders if the Christian fugitive was trying to seek ‘sanctuary’ in Subang Jaya?
On Wednesday (March 7), a boatman named Tan Poh Teck was charged in the Singapore court for assisting a man to leave the country illegally.
This same boatman was earlier charged on Feb 22 for transporting Singapore lawbreaker Chew Eng Han (see graphics below) to Malaysia when his motorized sampan was intercepted.
⇓ Leaving unlawfully at an unauthorized departure point
Chew was arrested on Feb 21 while attempting to flee Singapore in order to avoid serving his jail sentence. He had a prison term pending for misappropriating 50 million Singapore dollars collected through the City Harvest Church.
Note: Chew was one of the six church elders convicted of criminal breach of trust (CBT) in 2015 and required to commence his jail time beginning Feb 22, i.e. one calendar day from his escape bid and arrest at sea.
Last week, a 46-year-old Malaysian Khoo Kea Leng was also charged for abetting Chew.
Ex-City Harvest Church fund manager Chew Eng Han — due to begin jail term on Thursday — arrested for trying to flee Singapore by boat.
1 of 6 church leaders convicted of misappropriating S$50 million of church funds. https://t.co/ENTFz533uR
— Religion News (@religionnews) February 22, 2018
The Malaysia connection
On 26 June 2012, Singapore paper The Straits Times reported on what appears to be money laundering. (‘CoC’ below refers to the Commisioner of Charities.)
The news report headlined ‘City Harvest’s Crossover Project lies at heart of CoC inquiry’ said:
“However, unknown to the executive members of the board, the church’s funds were used to run the project, said the CoC. At least $23 million was used over three years, the CoC said.
“Funds from the church were diverted to finance the project under the guise of donations to its affliated church in Kuala Lumpur between December 2007 and May 2010.
The church – City Harvest Church Kuala Lumpur – then transmitted the monies to support the project in the United States.”
As concerned Malaysian citizens, we are interested to know more – whether it is true that the City Harvest Church located in Subang Jaya is in any way implicted as is suggested by the reputable Straits Times coverage quoted above.
Remember, six City Harvest Church pastors and elders have already been convicted in Singapore following a trial that stretched over 142 days. What was the role of its Subang Jaya affiliate?
Our own Malaysian authorities must dig deeper into this.
It’s quite within the realm of possibility that the Singapore convict Chew Eng Han was actually heading to Subang Jaya; he was apprehended, after all, on his way to Malaysia.
See ‘Siapa subahat yang bantunya di Malaysia?’ at akarimomar.wordpress.com
The back story
One of the biggest and most sensational Singapore corruption scandals engulfed an evangelical Christian place of worship – the City Harvest Church.
Police investigation began in 2010. The trial of the “City Harvest Six” started in 2013, and the dirty half dozen were found guilty and sentenced by the court in 2015.
Crossover Project was the vehicle for the City Harvest Church’s corrupt scam. Its missionary arm ostensibly sought to reach out to the unchurched, particularly Chinese youths and urban professionals, through appropriating contemporary pop culture.
⇓ Version 2.0: Like a bad penny, the evangelicals keep coming back
Their so-called evangelical enterprise had been made easier with greater accessibility in our digital age communication.
Supposedly meant to spread the gospel, the church founder Kong Hee agreed to an ‘innovative’ idea by his wife Ho Yeow Sun to deliver the message of Christian love through rap music.
And thus began the career of Sun Ho (the stage name adopted by the preacher’s wife) as an ‘ambassador’ of love to win young converts to Christianity.
⇓ Sun Ho the skimpily clad singer is not only a pastor’s wife but an evngelical preacher herself
Handmaiden of God’s house?
Sun Ho in her musical journey, however, lost track of her destination. Desperate for celebrity, the preacher woman’s costly made-in-America music videos lost sight of Christ.
The repackaging of the message of faith, hope and love of Jesus is just something has gone bad for the church as you can see for yourself from Sun Ho’s China Wine video above. The recording of this bumping-and-grinding song was, most outrageously, funded by the City Harvest Church.
On July 2, 2017, a total of six church officials including Kong Hee were found guilty of misappropriation and falsification of accounts.
“This [CBT] was done by funnelling $24 million into sham bonds to bankroll Ms Ho’s career. The accused then misused a further $26 million to cover their tracks,” explained The Straits Times in its 14 Sept 2016 article.
⇓ City Harvest Church in Subang Jaya: Take a closer look at the woman (left) on stage … recognize her?
Connect the dots
City Harvest Church and DAP evangelicals are basically employing the same plot.
DAP is fully aware that the party cannot win over Malay Muslim voters if its leaders are too overt with regard to any Christianization agenda.
So they need to come up with a medium zone. That’s the facade of secularism.
We should examine how the City Harvest Church Singapore embarked on its Crossover Project offering ‘secular’ (unreligious) music to youths. Sun Ho’s brand of music is hardly the church choir singing hymns.
Playing the long game, DAP’s evangelical politicians are similarly willing to pay lip service to the camouflage of secularism.
In fact, these evangelical politicians are so chameleon-like that they even mouthed sweet nothings about extending support for Islamization.
But in truth, the DAP’s support of Islamization is about as authentic as Sun Ho’s songs are genuine gospel music.
‘Britain’s Onward Christian Soldiers convicted of anti-Muslim hate crime’ — see here
⇑ Clockwise, from top left: Kong Hee, Tan Ye Peng, Serina Wee, John Lam, Chew and Sharon Tan
Church criminals get a lucky break
The jail sentences of these corrupt church elders have unfortunately been halved upon appeal. With the exception of Chew Eng Han, they began serving their prison terms last April.
- Kong Hee, age 53, City Harvest Church co-founder
JUDGES’ DECISION: Conviction upheld. Sentence reduced from 8 years to 3 years and 6 months’ jail.
- Chew Eng Han, 57, former church fund manager
JUDGES’ DECISION: Conviction upheld. Sentence reduced from 6 years to 3 years 4 months jail.
- Tan Ye Peng, 45, founding member and deputy senior pastor
JUDGES’ DECISION: Conviction upheld. Sentence reduced from 5½ years to 3 years 2 months jail
- Serina Wee, 41, former church finance manager
JUDGES’ DECISION: Conviction upheld. Sentence reduced from 5 years to 2.5 years jail.
- John Lam, 50, former church finance committee member
JUDGES’ DECISION: Conviction upheld. Sentence reduced from 3 years to 18 months jail.
- Sharon Tan, 42, former church finance manager who took over from Wee
JUDGES’ DECISION: Conviction upheld. Sentence reduced from 21 months to 7 months jail.
Section 409 of the Singapore Penal Code provides for more severe punishments. Nonetheless, the law is limited only to the category of “a public servant, or in the way of his business as a banker, a merchant, a factor, a broker, an attorney or an agent”.
The City Harvest Church pastors – not falling into the listed professions categories – were apparently let off under a more leniant section of the law.
Section 409 is interpreted to have limited scope and was applied strictly by the Singapore Court of Appeal in upholding the six culprits’ reduced jail sentences.