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News Reports

A plentiful Harvest of stories

For clarity, ST leads the way in its coverage of the City Harvest saga. It was a pleasure to read a complicated story that was simply written and which didn’t require me to re-read to be appraised of all the facts. There was even a simple, useful infographic on how the money was supposedly filched and the alleged cover-up process that followed. It put the numbers in perspective, noting that it dwarfed the NKF suit and Ren Ci’s case of misuse of funds.

While all the English-language papers went with the big $50m figure that was involved, not just $23m so we are now told, Today’s report was a hotch-potch of facts and figures tumbled together.$24m-of-church-funds

It didn’t even get to the cover-up until the second page…

For value-added, TNP leads the way, especially in chasing down that mysterious Indonesian. It got hold of the man and although the only useful thing he said was that he had known Kong Hee for 20 years, it managed to dig up more background on him, right from his boyhood days. BT had a bit more on the “round tripping” – the cover-up process – apparently not unheard of in the corporate world. I wish it had elaborated on those two past corporate cases it had cited though. Maybe tomorrow?

Anyway, yesterday’s charges made everything clearer. The earlier reports on the Crossover Project and Multi-purpose Fund only made me wonder what the problem was about. If the church members had agreed that money should go into supoprting the singing career of the pastor’s wife, who is to say they are wrong?  Today’s newspapers, for example, went on a certain Christopher Pang claiming that the Commissioner of Charities had indulged in defamation, but there was another point in his letter I found intriguing:

He refered to the CoC’s assertion that donations and tithes to the Charity were transferred to a private fund known as the Multi-Purpose Account. “This is a fabrication. The MPA was purely a private fund and the donors knew they were contributing to the Crossover Project and to supporting Pastor Kong and Sun. In fact the MPA was set up by donors who specifically wanted to contribute to the Crossover Project as we the members of the Church support this as part of our missions work.”

I wonder what he will say now that more charges are out in the open – including the shifting of money from a BUILDING fund, and I suppose we’re talking about a physical structure – rather than building Sun Ho’s career…

BTW, I found it sad that church leaders had to come out and say that the case wasn’t an attack on the church or on religion, in response to rants and other rubbish online. This is a case about supposedly bad people, not bad religion. So can we all just watch how the case unfolds instead indulging in polemics, sterotypes and bad puns?

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An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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