City Harvest trial: Kong Hee knew wife's music success was exaggerated

InSing, Singapore/August 18, 2014

City Harvest Church pastor Kong Hee knew that his wife Sun Ho’s music success was not real.

Chew Eng Han, the church’s former investment manager, said this in court on Monday 18 August.

Chew said Kong had “shortchanged the faith of the church members”, Channel NewsAsia reported.

Money was used to boost Ho’s CD sales and her position on music charts. It was also revealed that about S$30,000 were spent on iTunes gift cards in 2009 to buy Ho’s US single ‘Fancy Free’.

Kong refuted this, saying that the money came from private donations and was less than S$30,000. It was also not meant to boost sales of the single.

Kong said: "It was a marketing strategy to create momentum for the launch of her single." He added that the US Billboard Dance chart does not depend on sales.

When cross-examined, Chew said that Ho’s fan base was smaller than what Kong allowed church members to believe.

He also said that contrary to what the church’s website and Ho’s personal blog claimed, she had not sung the theme song for the 2007 Special Olympics in Shanghai.

And while Kong once told church members that Ho had been given a special commemorative series of stamps by organisations in China, Chew said that was false.

"Those stamps are nothing more than personalised stamps that anybody can go to the post office to pay for", Chew said.

The news channel reported that Chew, who is defending himself, said to Kong in court: "I'll submit to you that you consciously kept all relevant information away from me so that you could continue to use me to help you do whatever was necessary to help arrange the necessary funding."

Chew and Kong are two of the six church leaders standing trial for misusing millions of church dollars to boost Ho’s music career.

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