THE TEMASEK TIMES

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Businessman withdraws allegations about City Harvest Church and singer Ho Yeow Sun, and church prays to forgive him over the weekend

Posted by temasektimes on June 27, 2012

Straits Times, 27 January 2003

The man who made allegations about City Harvest Church’s support of pastor-singer Ho Yeow Sun’s pop career has apologised publicly.

And in five sermons over the weekend, Ho’s husband, church founder and senior pastor Reverend Kong Hee, asked the congregation to forgive the man.

Two weeks ago, Mr Roland Poon Swee Kay contacted the press to complain about what he said were improper practices by Rev Kong and his wife.

Last Friday, the 53-year-old businessman issued four apologies in The Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao, Lianhe Wanbao and Shin Min Daily News. A fifth apology appeared in The New Paper last Saturday.

In all, they cost $33,372.06. A source close to Mr Poon said yesterday that the amount was paid by an anonymous donor who knew of the businessman’s financial difficulties.

In the half-page apology in The Straits Times, Mr Poon, a member of the church, said he had fed false information to journalists from Life! and Today via e-mail and telephone conversations.

He also retracted all previous statements he had made regarding Rev Kong, Ho and the church.

Some of his earlier remarks were aired on Channel NewsAsia on Jan 17. This was followed by a Page 1 story in Today on Jan 18, which claimed that some church members had expressed uneasiness over City Harvest’s support of Ho’s pop career.

After reading the report, Ho, 31, who was then in Taiwan, broke down in tears.

In a Life! story published last Monday, she said that she had done nothing wrong.

Her husband also denied Mr Poon’s allegations. Rev Kong said that no church funds had been used for Ho’s pop career promotion, and that it was normal practice for the church to support and celebrate the secular success of its members.

The Chinese press also picked up the story.

Ho, who has been the church’s music pastor since 1993, launched her pop career last year.

Her first album, Sun With Love, sold more than 100,000 copies last year.

She recently launched her second work, Sun*day. All proceeds from both albums are pledged to charity.

She also sang at last Friday’s MTV Asia Awards, and was nominated for Favourite Artiste – Singapore.

As a result of all the news, members of City Harvest, which is in Jurong West, say they have been under a lot of ‘unnecessary’ scrutiny.

UFM 1003 DJ Danny Yeo, 30, for one, said he had been bombarded with phone calls.

‘I tell people that I’m still attending City Harvest and that it takes more than reading headlines and newspapers to make a judgment about the church,’ he said.

Last Friday, Life! also published a response from the City Harvest management board.

The letter reiterated Rev Kong’s stand that no church funds were used to finance Ho’s pop career. It added that there was no hard-selling of her two CDs in the church and no question of a personality cult forming.

That Mr Poon’s retraction in The Straits Times appeared on the same day as the church’s reply has raised some eyebrows among observers.

However, Rev Kong and church board member Chew Eng Han explained yesterday that it was pure coincidence.

The board had already submitted its statement to the newspaper last Wednesday, before the church received a call from Mr Poon later that day.

‘He voluntarily met up with me and a few board members at Fullerton Hotel on Wednesday evening,’ said Mr Chew, 42, a general manager of an American bank.

‘There, he told us he realised his foolishness after reading the positive remarks from other members of the church in the Life! article last Monday.’

He added that Mr Poon’s turn-around came after the businessman telephoned Sri Lanka-based clergyman, Bishop Jebanayagam, for advice last week.

Mr Poon could not be reached for comment and has not been attending service since Jan 18.

A source close to him said that he had met the bishop during the latter’s visits over the past eight years.

Bishop Jebanayagam apparently told him to come clean with City Harvest if he wished to be truthful, and that he would be forgiven.

Together with Mr Chew, Mr Poon drafted the apology last Wednesday night, got it vetted by City Harvest’s lawyers last Thursday and submitted it for publication the same day.

Mr Chew said that Mr Poon also revealed that his quotes to Today were attributed to several church members, including two identified as ‘Mr Png’ and ‘Mr Lee’.

He had contacted The Straits Times variously as ‘Roland Poon’ and ‘Swee Kay’.

Mr Chew said: ‘We have already forgiven him and have also asked him to come back to church next week.’

Rev Kong asked his congregation, which numbers 14,000, during his five weekend services to forgive the businessman.

‘My wife and I have forgiven him and so has the church. We’re not going to single him out and he can remain anonymous. That’s the good thing about being in a big church,’ he said.

Still, he felt that the church’s credibility – especially that of its community service here and in the region – had been unfairly undermined by the episode.

Rev Kong also said his wife remained badly shattered.

He said:

‘All she has been saying since she came back from Taiwan last week for MTV is how all her hard work has been for nothing. Her success, which has been achieved through her own talent and efforts, has been unfairly discredited by the false allegations. However, she believes that in time, the truth will dawn.’

32 Responses to “Businessman withdraws allegations about City Harvest Church and singer Ho Yeow Sun, and church prays to forgive him over the weekend”

  1. kaypoh said

    Hmm, according to typical Sun-kah-poh plot, few episodes later might be discovered dat somebody gave BJ to somebody & charges were dropped🙂

  2. Jack said

    Who paid the $33k? interesting!

  3. Ken said

    Some of the members are trying very hard to save their Pastor Kong, why this news never comes out before for the past 5 months?
    It appears right after his bailed out?
    Obviously, there are some people or a few groups trying very hard to save his arse.

  4. Observer said

    When I attended a cell group in 2003, the cell group leader told everyone how sun’s music had touched numerous non-believers, he then continued asking everyone in the cell whether we should support pastor sun.Naturally, everyone in the group agreed that we should support her. Next the leader ask everyone how many album we would like to buy? He say we should buy more to give to all our friends and bless them. Hence, everyone start buying many of her albums because we said we want to support our pastor. I bought one because I paiseh and if I don’t buy the leader will keep asking me why. No pressure, we did it on our own accord, how not to? Hahaha..every time i go to his church, somehow its about give until your heart break so that God will bless you hundred folds..When the building fund for the Jurong West 46mill building is on, they say there will be no more fund raising for the next two years when the building is completed.. Few months after building completed.. they ask for donation for extension building..when you pay your tithes, everyone clapped for you and you will get a free pastor kong’s booklet. Happy boh?

    • Wish Rich&Famous said

      Sounded same to my experience when I was chc member for few years. Cell group leaders only know how to preach from the sermon prepared by chc. Follow exactly and there was times I felt like telling the leaders to just pass the sermon around and I can read myself. A bunch a followers not leaders…

  5. spotlessleopard said

    Another similar scenario to NKF where ordinary people were made to apologise and pay compensation for libel…

  6. interesting

  7. mistletoe said

    such hypocritical couple! well 9 years ago they were not nailed, it’s a different story now. but all the $ for this untalented singer is a waste of $! i pity the money not well-spent!

  8. kaypoh said

    If u pay me 10% of that $23 mil I sure also withdraw lor

  9. mahbok tan said

    Let’s wait and see how the ending will be……!!!

    for the sunshine may never be with you or me…..

    not today , tomorrow till eternity……

    aiyoyo….why so like that….!!! see money all become blurr oredi…..!!!!

  10. Mark said

    These bunch of people made used of the name of Christianity to achieve their personal goals. They had brainwashed some many people that till today all these gong kia still believe their leaders are innocent and men of integrity. OMG! Amen!

  11. Annoymous said

    That Sun Ho picture is damn UGLY.

  12. Lee said

    She’s 31?

    “Ho, who has been the church’s music pastor since 1993, launched her pop career last year.” That means she’s a music paster since 12 years old?

  13. Realist said

    Sun Ho may not have a pretty face but her figure is what saves her.

  14. Ponders said

    Does Gongxi know the anonymous green hat gift was from this nigga?

  15. Albert said

    He knows! But he pretends he doesn’t know!

  16. Kong Hee Fatt Choi said

    The media should bring the man out again. Obviously he long knew something wasn’t right with the management of the church funds.

    • A. Teo said

      Reminds me of Harry Markopolos (whistleblower) & Bernie Madoff (perpetrator). Markopolos found out about the ponzi scheme in 2000, reported it to SEC and only after 9 years in 2009 was Madoff’s scam busted. Coincidence?

  17. knn said

    I suggest Ho Yeow Sun sleeps with all the black for free. Maybe the black will claims she stink like her husband but god will forgive her for sleeping around to repay her sin. Worst than Papaya men. F them

  18. Ron said

    Can CHC and its ardent supporters please comment on this article? No need to be ashamed. Your pastor has been formally charged in Court. And do you think the government which would have carefully deliberated on this high profile case is doing something on false charges?

  19. KM Wong said

    A fool and his money are parted. Have you guys not heard this saying before? How true.

  20. Kill Bill said

    i wonder in light of recent revelations would they CHC care to convene another prayer to “forgive themselves” and offer their apologies to Mr Roland Poon and also comically convene another prayer to “forgive Rev KONG HEE KONG HEE” at least this KONG HEE guy is happy he managed to fleece so many innocent church members and i wonder why so many gather to “proctect their beloved leader”. is this a cult or is this guy Kim Jong Il? i hate hypocrites

  21. siangneng said

    Despite years of denials, the truth is still uncovered eventually. 纸是包不住火的。

  22. spotlessleopard said

    The Greats of America : Pat Roberson, Jummy Baker, Hinns…all “disgraced Church Leaders “…one common thread: Greed, Power, Money…large follower base ….almost all SHEEPLE…with UNQUESTIONAING FAITH IN THEIR SO CALLED LEADER.S

  23. Lin2012 said

    There is no such thing called Blind faith. CHC will not go down just because Pst Kong is not around, since our love to Chris is real and not because of human. Despite all this, may I know whether any of you who commented so badly about CHC are giving fund to the church?? I believe most of you here do not. Again, I am fine by CHC assisting Sun for her crossover project. Why should it be a problem since the ones who give the fund don’t mind to begin with. Finally, I believe that Pst Kong and the team don’t misuse any fund. A person remains not guilty until the verdict is heard. Until then I hope you guys show respect to them..

    • Wish Rich&Famous said

      Pls don’t sound like you are the one who give… Open your eyes and your brain to see and think yourself t night. Do read yr bible daily and self reflected yourself. Do homework before you post that people who commented here didn’t give $$ to chc. God bless you 1000000000 fold if you believe you give 100 and god will blesss many fold. Wake up!

  24. ChaosAD said

    You are always guilty until proven innocent. Thats in the eyes of normalization. Give them time to prove their innocence, if they can.

  25. fsfs said

    wah lao simi sai talent is she talking about. if there is one talent she has it is definitely cheating people out of their hard earned cash.

  26. Wish Rich&Famous said

    Chc is a church serves rich ppl. If you are rich and pay 10% every months. Cell group leaders will treat his/her members like king/queen.
    I’m now interested to know about Roland Poon response toward his 10 years allegations to Chc? I’m not interested to know the blind faith chc members at all. There are bunch of blind faith sheep. They are hero but sooner the truth will force to face the reality. God bless them

  27. jon said

    Can Mr Roland Poon Swee Kay now come out again to prove that he is right! please come out again!! and also counter claim against kong hee and ho for ruining his reputation.

  28. Tiew lei lomo said

    She can go prostitute herself for 5 bucks

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