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Tuesday August 27, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday August 27, 2013 MYT 9:05:50 AM
CITY Harvest Church leaders were involved in major decisions such as budgets and staff employment at Xtron Productions, a music production company accused of helping the church to misuse church funds, the state sought to show.
When questioned on the witness stand, Xtron director Choong Kar Weng also admitted that the company did not seek to profit from its City Harvest business although this made up the majority of its income.
Xtron is one of two companies alleged to have helped the megachurch to funnel church funds to bankroll the music career of pastor-singer Ho Yeow Sun, who is also wife of the church’s founder Kong Hee.
The state showed through emails and meeting minutes prepared by Xtron employees, that City Harvest employees were consulted on the company’s matters even though they were not on its payroll.
In some cases their approval was also sought. These church employees included Tan Ye Peng, one of the six accused.
Claiming that he was seeing many of these minutes and emails for the first time, Choong also said that the day-to-day operations were handled by Suraj, a church employee whom he called a “good friend”.
Asked whether this represented a conflict of interest for the company, Choong said: “I trust Suraj and believe he would not have done anything harmful and detrimental to Xtron.”
Kong and the five other church leaders were charged last year with conspiring to cheat the megachurch of millions of dollars.
They allegedly misused S$24mil (RM60mil) of church funds to bankroll Ho’s singing ambitions, and purportedly took another S$26mil (RM65mil) to cover up the first amount. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
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