Updated: 19 August 2014 11:45
Kong Hee in court for alleged misuse of church funds

Sun Ho’s music success was a farce, says Chew Eng Han

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Text: Joelle Chong, Ilsa Chan and Kymie Hwang
Pictures from Internet and YouTube

Sun Ho’s success was a farce, says Chew Eng Han

Former City Harvest Church (CHC) investment manager Chew Eng Han fired one accusation after another at CHC founder Kong Hee when the latter took the stand in court on August 18.

 Chew claimed Kong had “shortchanged the faith of the church members” because he knew that his wife Sun Ho’s secular music success was not real.

Chew and Kong are among six church leaders standing trial for allegedly using millions of church dollars to buy sham bonds to bankroll Ho's pop music career.

Chew, who is defending himself, also accused Kong of lying to church members about Ho's achievements, all the while knowing that they were shelling out their own money to boost her CD sales. Chew produced a slew of emails and documents to bolster his claims.

He said he had trusted the church's leadership and believed in the Crossover Project from the beginning, but a series of discoveries in 2013 led him to discover that the project "was not what it is supposed to be".

'Fake' commemorative stamps and iTunes sales? 

For example, Chew called a commemorative series of stamps in China featuring Ho a "scam" and nothing more than "personalised stamps anybody could go to a post office and pay for". Kong refuted this claim, saying that the stamps were presented at a genuine ceremony attended by officials.

Chew also revealed how church members spent about $30,000 on iTunes gift cards to boost sales of Ho's US single, Fancy Free. Kong refuted this, saying that the money came from private donations, and was a marketing strategy to "create momentum for the launch of her single", adding that her placement on the US Billboard Dance chart does not depend on sales.

Chew also charged that Ho's fan base was, in reality, smaller than what Kong allowed church members to believe. He said that what Kong told the church about Ho singing the theme song at the 2007 Special Olympics, and how she had been given a special commemorative series of stamps by organisations in China, were all "false claims".

Chew said these successes led him to believe returns could be generated from Ho's planned US debut album. The album was part of the church's Crossover Project, a way of evangelising through secular pop music.

Click on for more on the series of events and key players in the City Harvest Case.

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