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Singaporean singer and evangelist Sun Ho caught up in funding scandal
THE CHURCH in Singapore and the US music industry are reeling after the senior pastor, Kong Hee, of Singapore's second largest church and five other leaders of the 17,000 member City Harvest Church (CHC) were found guilty by Singapore's charity commissioner of syphoning off $35.9 million in church funds to support the singing career of Kong's wife Sun Ho. The CHC megachurch maintains that Ho's pop music career was intended as a form of outreach to non-Christians. The trial of the six church pastors, board executives and accountants lasted 140 days. The commissioner of charities accused Kong of diverting funds under the guise of contributions to a sister church in Kuala Lumpur and one witness testified that building funds were used to buy investment bonds in church-owned companies that promoted Ho's music career.
Sun Ho, otherwise known as Rev Ho Yeow Sun, was from 2002 to 2007 based in Taiwan and released a succession of five Mandarin pop albums through Warner Bros Taiwan which achieved double or triple Platinum status. From 2003 to 2006 Ho's first five English language releases reached the Dance Club charts in Billboard magazine. Emails revealed in court showed that US$1.5 million went to rapper Wyclef Jean and a further US$1.5 million to rapper Missy Elliot to get them to appear on Ms Ho's music videos.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.