Use of building fund did not breach CHC’s constitution: Witness

SINGAPORE — The external auditor of the City Harvest Church testified today (Jan 15) that there was no breach in the church’s constitution when the Building Fund was used in bond subscription.

Taking the stand for a third day, Ms Tiang Yii of Baker Tilly agreed with the defence that the church’s subscription to Xtron bonds was authorised. Xtron was the firm managing singer Sun Ho’s music career. It had a bond subscription agreement with the church to raise funds for Ho’s music.

Under the agreement, money from the church was used in the production of the singer’s albums. Ms Tiang agreed that “the use of the proceeds were in line with the stated objectives in the bond”, but the prosecution’s case is that Xtron was a financial vehicle used by church founder Kong Hee and five deputies, to channel the church’s Building Fund into Sun Ho’s career, through what they called “sham bond investments”.

Today, the court also heard that Ms Tiang’s colleague, Mr Foong Daw Ching, had been communicating with the accused on bond issues and the use of the Building Fund, but Ms Tiang said she was not aware. The defence’s point is that the accused had been seeking Mr Foong’s advice proactively, but this information was not shared with Ms Tiang and that he had failed in his duty.

Previously, Mr Foong testified that he had dispensed general advice to the accused in his personal capacity.

Another point made was that the accused John Lam was roped in to help with the discussion on the church’s accounts and its bond subscription with Xtron because of his educational qualifications. His lawyer, Mr Kenneth Tan, pointed out to Ms Tiang that Lam had studied accounting.

The trial continues. CHANNEL NEWSASIA

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