It appears the Great Singapore Sale started earlier this year for the white collar CHC criminals.
However, the mega discounts dished out by our justice system to fraudsters Kong Hee and company has caused public outrage. The AGC should seize the opportunity to redeem itself.
Law Minister Shanmugam has said the AGC had believed that “the sentences given out earlier at a lower court should have been higher”. The government had also “believed that the original sentences were too low as well“. CNA And so does the public.
We are not talking about a case of neigbhour A cheating neighbour B of $50 but a 30,000 strong congregation being fleeced by a group of immoral religious leaders. It is also the mother of all corruption cases involving $50 million.
When lead fraudster Kong Hee will be released from jail in only 28 months for committing what the AGC has claimed to be “Fraud of the worst kind“, does this not make a mockery of our justice system? 😦
MSM has also been supporting CHC by publishing biased articles such as “Disappointment, but sense of closure for CHC members after appeal verdict” (CNA) and “CHC ‘deeply saddened’ by appeal decision” (CNA).
Public outrage at the unbelievably lenient sentences did not matter, non news to MSM. Hmm .. never mind what the people think?
Why should former finance manager Sharon Tan’s sentence be reduced by 2/3 for her part in the fraud? A participant in “Fraud of the worst kind” serving jail sentence of less than 5 months?
Why is mastermind Kong Hee’s sentence only 2- and 4 months higher than Chew Eng Han’s and Tan Ye Peng’s respectively? CNA Donkee should be put behind bars for a long time to send the “right” message that white collar crimes will not be tolerated.
In a less elaborate scam involving church funds many years ago, Catholic priest Joachim Kang was jailed 7 years for embezzling only $5.1 million. Kang had pledged to return all the money.
But in CHC’s case, the amount given to Xtron to fund Sun Ho’s music career was astronomical. For FY 2007 and 2008, Xtron had chalked up losses of $2.4 million and $9 million respectively.
Origninal image @ newnation.sg
In 2013, it was reported that “Sun Ho lost more than $14 million on album”.
In reducing Kong Hee’s jail sentence to a ridiculous 3.5 years, JA Chao and Justice Woo stated that “the conspiracy involved no personal gain on the part of Kong and his accomplices”. Hello, sure or not?
Questions for Chao and Woo:
– If your wives benefited millions, assuming you are in a spiritually loving relationship, will you not derive any personal benefit as well?
– If Sun Ho had lived in Singapore, household/family expenses would have been borne at least partly by Kong Hee. Didn’t Kong Hee derive any benefit when daily expenses of Sun Ho and his son were borne by CHC members while she was in the US?
– As one of 2 principal shareholders of AMAC Capital Partners, didn’t Chew benefit directly in ‘managing’ tens of millions of CHC monies?
– If Sun Ho’s music career did not flop, would finance manager Sharon Tan and those on CHC’s Board not benefit from increased membership? What about those who had set up businesses targeting CHC members as customers?
– Serina Wee had set up Advante Consulting, an accountancy services firm, in 2007. Was she providing accountancy services to CHC foc?
As can be seen from the above, “the conspiracy involved no personal gain on the part of Kong and his accomplices” is merely a half truth.
Chao and Woo also said: “This case should not be viewed as a sinister and malicious attempt on (their) part(s) to strip the church of funds for their own purposes. They were acting in what they genuinely believed to be in (the church’s) interests”.
Then why the need to cover paper trails? If CHC members had believed that building funds were better diverted to Sun Ho’s music, which in the long run would save millions of lost souls, why roped in so many people in an elaborate scam instead of being upfront? Hmm … Chao and Woo appear to be mind readers because evidence run contrary to their statement.
How could there even be “exceptional mitigating factors” when all the fraudsters have shown NO remorse? Till today, none has admitted to their crime.
To a layman, including me, the mega discounts should not have been given to such white collar criminals at the expense of taxpayers.
To regain confidence and trust in our justice system, the government has no choice but to take the “right” action to bring these criminals to justice.