Archive for the ‘John Lam’ Tag

CHC Trial 10, September, 2014 (Day 70-Day 23 Tranche 5)

Yahoo! That’s the defense lawyer for you and me!
Senior Counsel Edwin Tong showed evidence after evidence that Pastor Kong did not hide anything from the auditors, unlike prosecution’s case.
He also showed that dual purpose of Xtron bond of investment and evangelism/Crossover is consistent with COC’s instruction.

Go go go, Pastor Kong and SC Edwin Tong!
Things are getting more and more interesting with Pastor Kong’s integrity getting revealed day by day!

What I Will Do If CHC Leaders are Declared Guilty

A friend asked this question to me last year, “What will you do if the verdict says CHC leaders are guilty?”
At that time, I gave a very unconvincing answer. After all, that question caught me by surprise.
But now, in the light of recent trial, I have given much thought about this question.
And my answer is:

I will do as per normal. Nothing will change.
I will still be active in cell group, ministry and church service.
I will also still give tithe, offering and building fund.

Here are my 3 considerations:

Firstly, the details do not affect me.
I think I am still considered as visitor even though I have been active in CHC since 2005.
Since I have never been informed that I am considered as Ordinary Member, I can then conclude I am just considered as visitor.
As a normal member, I do not know many details regarding money transaction the church does.
I assume Executive Members know more details than I do.
In the first round of trial alone, already the court revealed plenty intricate details.
Since from day one I do not know them, it does not matter to me whether or not the court will reveal more of them.

Secondly, the end result matters to me the most.
Being in the research background, I am conditioned to get the final result.
While the detail is important, getting the end result is way more important.

(For example, a Physics professor is setting a new lab.
He will require his PhD students to align the laser system.
Most of the time, they have to decide which mirror, lens or screw to use and other details.
The supervisor is likely to be too busy to be bothered with such details.
His job is mainly to provide money.
His students may work overnight or may even sleep in the lab.
However, that won’t change the requirement of aligning the laser system.
Result, the perfectly aligned laser system, is the supervisor’s main concern and objective.)

Pastor Aries has announced the end result: no single cent is missing and, in fact, the church has earned the interest too.
To me, that is the most important thing I would like to know.
I seriously do not mind if my contribution to building fund goes all around the world.
As long as I know the end result which Pastor Aries has announced, I am more than happy even if I do not know the details.
Having said that, I understand the saying “The end does not justify the mean.”
However, this statement refers to morality and ethics issue, which I am not interested to discuss.

Thirdly, the bond investment in Xtron was a success.
Yes, it was a success as Pastor Aries has acknowledged.
No single cent was missing and the interest came too.
I really applaud Xtron for that.
As a comparison, 2 years ago I invested 10K in a bond from an insurance company.
I was told the interest rate was 7% per year.
2 years has passed. How is the bond doing? Kinda disappointing.
I still receive 7% interest. However, the bond value has dropped from 10K to around 8.3K now.
Have I made money? No. I’ve lost some money.
Man! Come to think of it….. I should have bought Xtron bond!!!!!!

The next round of trial will be held in August. It will be the defense’s turn.
Maybe I should attend it? I would like to pray for the leaders right there in the court room.

CHC Trial 21, May, 2013 (Day 4): Opinion and Possible Scenario

On day 4 of the trial the prosecution brought a witness Koh Siew Ngea who is a director of Xtron Productions.
The defense did not get a chance to cross examine him. They would do it the following day.
So, here I am, giving some opinion on the trial based on what written in the media and City News.

Prosecution tried to establish the close relationship between CHC and Xtron.
Indeed, as Koh mentioned, CHC always has supports Xtron as Xtron also supports CHC’s vision.
In fact, CHC decided who should become Xtron staff.

It is sufficient to see that CHC is really linked to Xtron.
However, that is something to be expected, in my opinion.
CHC is more than just a community center. It is a family too.
If I want to do business, I would rather do it with my own family member rather than outside people.
After all, with my own family members, I can be open to recommend people to hire or direction of business.
I have the impression than my own family members are more trustworthy than non-family members.

Prosecution tried to show that the bonds CHC bought from Xtron were not genuine bonds.
Hmm, I think the ‘genuineness’ of a bond should be defined first.
From my perspective, the bond is genuine because the document was prepared by lawyers and, eventually, the church gained interest.

It was also revealed that Wahyu Hanafi bore the risk should Cross over project incur losses.
What a big risk he really took! I believe God would reward him for his courage!

Now, one thing which still bothers me is the transfer of S$ 6 million from Singapore to USA to fund Sun’s career.
I believe CHC leaders can explain it when their turn comes.
Meanwhile, I will propose a possible scenario to explain it. My scenario may be wrong, I admit.

Crossover project is church project. Funding Crossover project is equal to funding a church project.
Since Wahyu took courage to cover any losses in this project, maybe CHC leaders considered this project as a form of investment too from business point of view.
In other words, if this project was a success, CHC gained some interest and people would come to Christ.
If this project was not successful, CHC would not lose money as Wahyu would cover it and people would still come to Christ.

Am looking forward to more news on the trial :)

CHC Trial 20, May, 2013 (Day 3): Incomplete Story??

Am so proud of City News team for doing such a fantastic job.
A lot of people criticized City News, saying the content is biased toward the favor of CHC leaders.
I wonder if they realize WE ARE ALL BIASED one way or another: they are biased against the leaders where we for the leaders.
Yesterday I was looking for City News video high and low.
I did not believe there was no single counter argument from the defense.
The story I read in mainstream media focuses more on the prosecution’s argument.
But, wait, there was no way defense lawyers (who are Senior Counsels) could stay silent.
Why did not the mainstream media broadcast the defense argument too???

The prosecutor argued that:
-Xtron was a sham company.
-The money transfer was hidden from outside people.

The defense, on the other hand, tried to refute:
– Xtron was really a profitable company.
– The money transfer was not hidden from the auditors.

Koh was only not aware of the reason for transaction. However, she knew what happened during the transaction.
I really think the defense lawyers have made a very good counter argument backed up with evidence given the time limit of cross examination.

I don’t think it was possible to answer ‘why’ the transaction was carried out like that given that now is prosecution’s turn.
Maybe, when it is the defense’s turn, Serina Wee and Sharon Tan can answer it in case prosecutor wants to know.

CHC Trial 15, May, 2013 (Day 1): My Personal Analysis

Finally, the first trial began this morning.
I followed news on Straits Times and City News (my very own church website news portal).
I should say it was interesting to hear what prosecutor said.
Since it was the prosecutor’s turn first, the CHC side can’t do anything much.
Nevertheless, City News managed to get some comment from the defense.

Setting aside the details of money transfer, the prosecutor (Mavis Chionh) used the following argument:

– The Building Fund money was used to finance Sun’s career instead of buying land, furniture, etc.
– Since it was different from the original purpose as stated on the Building Fund pledge, the use was then unauthorized.
– Theological legitimacy is irrelevant.

(Theological legitimacy here may refer to evangelism purpose of Cross Over project, I think)

However, as the defense told City News:
– Theological legitimacy is relevant.
– The use of Building Fund to finance Cross Over is not unauthorized.
– The accused had no wrongful gain; there was no unlawful loss; the Church made good and there has been no dishonesty.

Indeed, now the true battle is no longer the battle of evidence. There is no doubt money transfer took place.
However, the true battle is the battle of definition: what is the definition of ‘authorized’ transfer here?
Was it lawful or was it not lawful to transfer money after they have come with the definition?

The pledge card of Building Fund does say the money will be used for the purchase of land, construction costs, rentals and furniture.
However, the pledge card does NOT say ‘only’.
To me personally, as long as the word ‘only’, it is perfectly fine to use Building Fund for purposes other than those written in the card.

In case, anyone disagrees with my argument of ‘only’, I will give one Biblical example.
According to Matthew 8, Lord Jesus healed 2 demoniac in Gadarene. According to Luke 8, He healed one man.
Was there a contradiction between the two accounts? Not necessarily.
Luke did not use mention ‘only’ one demoniac.

So, who should then authorize the use of Building Fund money?
I personally believe the donators are the ones who can authorize.
A possibly extreme example to illustrate this.
Out of 24 million Building Fund money, 90% of the sum came from currently active church members.
Out of the whole currently active church members, 90% do NOT mind at all if their money was used for Cross Over project.
Interesting ‘authorization’, isn’t it?
Then those who really object may then request to get reimbursement. The church may then reimburse them.

(Btw, CHC status as charity organization with its taxation is another issue. The key is really with the word ‘authorization’.)

Well, I maybe wrong in this analysis.
But at least, I shall keep Pastor Kong and the leaders in prayer.
The LORD will vindicate them.