It’s a Weird World

Lesotho Times - - Cartoons & Puzzles -

Pas­tors jailed for pop mu­sic fraud

SIN­GA­PORE — The co-founder of a Sin­ga­pore church and five other lead­ers were sen­tenced to jail terms of up to eight years on Fri­day, for fraud­u­lently di­vert­ing mil­lions of dol­lars to sup­port his wife’s pop singing ca­reer.

The mix of faith and fraud has fas­ci­nated tight­lyreg­u­lated Sin­ga­pore, where such cases are rare in an af­flu­ent city-state with lit­tle tol­er­ance for cor­rup­tion.

Se­nior pas­tor Kong Hee heads City Har­vest Church, one of a grow­ing num­ber of Sin­ga­pore’s megachurches preach­ing a “pros­per­ity gospel” that blends spir­i­tual and ma­te­rial as­pi­ra­tions.

Six church of­fi­cials were con­victed last month of di­vert­ing nearly S$51 mil­lion (M503 mil­lion) in funds to ad­vance the ca­reer of Kong’s wife, Ho Yeow Sun.

They were sen­tenced on Fri­day to jail terms of be­tween 21 months and eight years, de­pend­ing on how in­volved they were in the fraud. The jail terms were de­layed to Jan­uary next year, giv­ing the de­fen­dants time to ap­peal.

Kong was ar­rested in 2012 and charged with crim­i­nal breach of trust and fal­si­fy­ing ac­counts. His wife, the co-founder and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the church, was not charged in the case.

Ho has fo­cused on the Man­darin pop mar­ket and has re­leased al­bums, in­clud­ing “Em­brace”, through Warner Mu­sic Tai­wan.a video from her English­language sin­gle, “China Wine”, shows her danc­ing in­ti­mately with rap­per Wy­clef Jean, spark­ing crit­i­cism that she had be­trayed her call­ing as a Chris­tian pas­tor. — Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.