Sunday, June 13, 2010

City Harvest Church

Title: Minister Shanmugam said that investigation on City Harvest Church when “a complaint was received”. What about the thousands of complaints that were made against structured products?

I refer to the report made on 12 June 2010 on Today newspaper by Alicia Wong. It was reported that Minister Mr Shanmugam said "One shouldn't look at this (City Harvest Church investigation) from the perspective of churches or mega-churches. The way this has been approached is, a complaint was received - a complaint about how funds were used - and the Commissioner of Charities (COC) called in CAD (Commercial Affairs Department)."

It is laudable that government would start an investigation upon “a complaint was received”. The government should use the same resolve on the investigation of structured products.

The government should investigate the financial institutions that are responsible for the issuing and distribution of structured notes (such as Minibond, Pinnacle Notes, High Note etc).

There where thousands of written complaints, as compared to only “a complaint” in the case of City Harvest Church. There are many who are still not satisfied even when partial compensation is made. I hope the government would extend the same assertion to investigate the issuers and distributors of these structured products. In fact its effect is even more far reaching than City Harvest Church or Ri Ci Hospital’s issues. It affects the banking institution and the thrust of banking system at large.

Straits Times should provide coverage of the individuals who are behind these financial products.

In the case of Abbot Min Yi and Pastor Kong Hee, there was extensive coverage of their personal life and works prior to conclusion of the investigation. We have not seen any coverage of the individuals who are behind these structured products who brought anxiety and pain to many Singaporeans.

Cashew Nut


Tan Kin Lian said...

According to this media report, the CAD is investigating the finances of the church based on "a complaint received".

There is wide media coverage of this investigation.

The public perception is that because there is an investigation, the pastor must be guilty of wrong doing.

This should not be the case. A person should be deemed innocent until proven guilty.

If the investigation find evidence of some wrong doing of a minor scale, and it is used to start a prosecution, the public should read the case as it is and not extrapolite it to the character of a person.

I have seen many past cases of people who have been people who have been destroyed by public perception influenced by negative media coverage.

Anonymous said...

Cashew Nut makes an interesting observation.

- I can only hazard a guess

- senior banking positions require a thorough checking into the background and personal integrity of the candidates

- therefore, all senior banking managers are moral angels

- such moral angels will never sell shady financial products

- therefore it's the CONNEDsumers fault

- Product safety is "Not just Govt's job"
- see Straits Times front page headlines dated 13 June.

- you pay me a million dollar salary so that I can tell you it's not my job. It's YOUR fault.

Lye Khuen Way said...

Strange that the Law Minister is also saying that MCYS should be the one looking at the "regulations" & "laws" relating to the Charities & Religious bodies.

I have always wondered the need of a Law Ministry, in this days of each Ministries taking care of their own "laws & rules".
Can some someone enlighten me ?

Anonymous said...

Yes, a person should be deemed innocent until proven guilty. But something must be fishy which prompted an investigation.

Anonymous said...

Anything associated with religion in Singapore is sensitive and can involve race issues.

That is why there is prompt action.

Minibonds, landbanking, insurance are all commercial and does not include God.

J said...

When rights can mean life and death

On the topic of deeming suspects innocent until proven guilty, this is a sobering read on how the newspapers have already deemed an old lady guilty before any trial began.

Many of the comments say that a lawyer should be present when a suspect is interrogated.

Anonymous said...

If they can go after City Harvest who NEVER invited the public throught public advertisement to "invest" in their church, WHY are they not going after organisations that invited the public to invest in their products with very dubious "tag-lines" not been investigated, when the products resulted in millions lost by the public?

( I am not a member of City Harvest, but a fellow brother)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... "Anything associated with religion ... is sensitive ..." on June 13, 2010 3:12 PM

If investigation is a result of its sensitivity, then Straits Times should refrain from reporting on Abbot Ming Yi or Pastor Kong Hee or the government should stop Straits Times from reporting before these sensitive case is concluded? Please help me to reconcile the concept of sensitivity?

Anonymous said...

All irregularity and suspected malpractices should be looked into.

Why the need for complaint ?

Whenever and wherever justice is needed, the Government must intervene to fulfill its' duty to uphold justice, it is not ?

C H Yak said...

I tend to agree with Mr Tan Kin Lian about media coverage during investigations and even when court hearings are in progress.

The media simply report about what the lawyers "argue" in court. It is a fact that lawyers representing plaintiff and defendants would simply put in both right and wrong arguments in submissions to the court for their clients and leave the judge to decide...even in could be the same.

The night papers tend to make use of such arguments in court to make their reports interesting...and may directly or indirectly influence the public that all these arguments in court are actually facts.

Those who do not understand legal and court procedures tend to believe what the media said, both right and wrong. This is bad.

Anonymous said...

There are worthy complaints and there are unworthy complaints.

Anonymous said...

When big corporations such as Temasek,Sing Tel, DBS and many big names are quoted as Reference Entities do you think gahmen bother to investigate >

Anonymous said...

Rex comments as follows,

The answer to the persistent question of why go after CityHarvest et al and not the FI's in the minibonds et al cases seems obvious.

DBS is one of the major culprits in the debacle. DBS being Our national bank has to be protected for the sake of Singaporeans , for our own sake. It is an unwritten, unmentionable rule. If DBS collapse, it's GAME OVER over for everybody not just the politicians; it is not a simple matter of kicking out any political party.
IT IS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD. Remember the local Jack Neo show punch-line.


Anonymous said...

Reference Rex comments on implications of DBS collapse.

If we agree, then it would imply that DBS is our national sacred cow.

Which then leads me to ask, can we make a list of all our national sacred cows ... the die-die cannot fail, cannot be made to look bad type of entities.

Following is my attempt at such a list:
1. DBS
2. PAP
3. all government ministers
4. all government scholars
5. all government linked companies
6. all Temasek linked companies
7. SIA

But wait a minute.

Surely sacred cows cannot exist in a meritocratic society?

Mr Obvious Man

Anonymous said...

Election is coming, so our Govt must investigate other private
organisations to deflect our attention on their shortcomings and mistakes e.g. GIC still making huge losses on their investments,
security lapses of SMRT after all the preparations on our national security system, etc.
So don't be fooled again by our Govt.
City Harvest is just a sacrificial
lamb, the same with Rev. Min Yi,
the Buddhist monk.

Anonymous said...

Rex comments on post of Mr Obvious Man, as follows,

Of course it is the Mother of ALL Lies, that Singapore is a meritocratic society.

A long time ago, i could agree to such proposition.

But today i would puke at anyone who tried to convince me so. Just flip open the Straits Times and you will see daily sampling of the clowns that had risen through the ranks primarily by carrying balls and not by their own merit .

Sure many of these leaders are meritorius in terms of academic paper qualifications. But hardly any of them deserves respect in terms of demonstrationg the art of leadership and courageous approaches to real problems and presenting proper solutions. They survive well because they are supported from top-down and furthermore constantly propped up by a compliant media.

The day of reckoning will come when No 1. and No. 2 fades away. It is better to plan in advance and slowly phase in passionate, patriotic thinkers, giving them a chance to blossom, instead of forever cursing and blaming their inexperience and incapability.(self fulfilling prophecy!)

If we fail to do the right thing...then, with the passing of No.1 and No. 2, there will be chaos. Who's No. 3? It is a myth that only the opposition are fighting internally. The cohesion of the status quo exists only because of No. 1 and No. 2, but it is best to prepare for the future and not put faith in the past.


Unknown said...

The issuing and distribution of structured notes is a standard activity of financial institutions, there's nothing inherently wrong with this practice. Investors are to blame if they fail to appreciate the concept of market risk. If we are to fault the bank officers peddling the product, the we should also accuse the insurance agents who always harp on you to up your coverage. Don't even get me started on those unscrupulous types who drop in on funeral wakes or visit the hospitals to prey on the fearful. As for innocent until proven guilty, rest assured that in Singapore the boys in blue won't invite you to "assist in the investigation" unless they already have evidence of wrong doing. They haven't been hauling in the motor repair shops, working in collaboration with flaky insurance companies, that chalk up fradulent accident claims for the simple reason that they don't have the evidence. If they did, car insurance premiums won't have skyrocketed like they did in the past few years.

yuen said...

please see for a discussion of several issues involve

Anonymous said...

Read this to understand the nature of the wealth of City Harvest Church.

kelly said...

Hi Kin Lian! CHC is at least guilty of twisting God's words. When did Jesus ever turn away someone based on how much he can donate to the church?

Anonymous said...

Luke 13:23-27Someone asked him, "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?" He said to them, "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, `Sir, open the door for us.' "But he will answer, `I don't know you or where you come from.' "Then you will say, `We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.' "But he will reply, `I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!'

Anonymous said...

Hebrew 10:10 all sins past , present, future are forgiven, no more yearly scarIfice of bulls and goats yearly, lamb of God precious blood wash away all sins
No want is sinless or righteous in this world , if the one who have no sins throw the first stone , Jesus said

Anonymous said...

For those who have no sins make the first to stone Jeseus said,

Anonymous said...

It is not simple... PP is also another case study. Someone used CAD. Press are barred from featuring as sessions in chambers. Public Prosecutor asked to postpone so many times. They are going to drag this out for sure.

Anonymous said...

We need to set up a new stat board, lets call it anti-corrupted singaporean board (asb). Singaporeans that makes violates the good singaporean act (gsa) must face penalties, either fine, jail term or life imprisonment. Foreginer that want to become singaporean must agree to the terms and conditions before coming here to take all our jobs and buy all our hdb flats.

Anonymous said...

So called "pastor" Kong Hee & his wife Sun Ho will know where all that money went !

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