City Harvest leader: Kong didn't care about church

InSing, Singapore/August 20, 2014

A former church leader has accused pastor Kong Hee, founder of City Harvest Church, of not caring about churchgoers.

The church’s former investment manager Chew Eng Han said this in court at the ongoing trial involving an alleged misuse of funds by six leaders to finance the music career of the pastor’s wife, dubbed the Crossover Project. Chew and Kong are two of the six leaders.

The project was apparently part of the church’s strategy to evangelise to the masses through pop music, but Kong had said that it was put on hold when the Commercial Affairs Department launched a probe into the church’s financial irregularities in 2010.

On Tuesday 19 August, Chew, who is defending himself, said that if Kong truly cared about the church and its members, he could have done much more to salvage the financial losses from the Crossover Project, such as by selling the copyrights to Ho’s songs, Channel NewsAsia reported.

Chew added that Kong could have sent Ho back to the US to complete and launch the album, but Kong claimed that Ho was needed in Singapore because “we had a crisis, we needed the co-founder to be back to calm the people”.

Chew also pointed out that Kong could have put his own money into the project rather than buy properties for himself at the time.

Kong admitted that maybe he could have done much more, but said he had “a lot on his plate at the time” with his spiritual duties as a pastor and coping with the investigations and the legal issues.

Kong called this court case the “most traumatic event” in the church’s history.

Under questioning by the prosecution, Kong said Chew was a “very good member of the church”, a “very intelligent man”, and his “go-to man” for financial matters, and that he loves and appreciated him even though he wasn’t as close to him as he was to the other church leaders.

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