By: Obbana Rajah

The City Harvest Case continues to make news with one of its members, Chew Eng Han, trying to flee the country the day before he was to serve his sentence for criminal breach of trust.

This City Harvest Church board member and fund manager was found guilty of 6 counts of criminal breach of trust and 4 counts of falsifying church accounts. Even so, after appealing for a shorter sentence, his jail term was cut-down by almost half, from 6 years to only 3 years and 4 months.

Out of all the members on the board, Chew was the only one whose sentence was to begin on February 22 2018, while the rest began their sentences on April 21 2017. This is because Chew was on bail pending the appeal and was given permission by the court to serve his sentence later.

The relationship between Chew and City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee is a rather complex and complicated one. Even the judge who passed verdict on the case, Judge See Kee Oon, expressed that both Kong and Chew were “kindred spirits” who “fuelled each other’s drive.

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But what begs the question is, why then did Chew break reign with his fellow board members of City Harvest Church and expose them in court?

Was it so that his sentence would be lowered? This is an unlikely event as it was known fact that as the church’s investment manager, the decisions the other accused members took were shaped by Chew’s opinions and direction.

Even when Ho Yeow Sun, Pastor Kong’s wife danced around in revealing clothing, Chew commented, “Deep inside, I was a bit uncomfortable, but I didn’t express this because of my loyalty to Kong Hee and Sun”.

According to Chew’s statement, it was he who urged Kong to come forth. When the latter refused to come clean, Chew explained that he had enough and quit the church after being a member for 17 years.

In light of Chew’s escape attempt, many took to Facebook and made sarcastic remarks. The overall vibe was that Chew was deserving of his plight and some even expressed that he should be given a longer sentence; for his criminal breach of trust and for attempting to illegally flee the country.

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Netizen Taufik Hidayat commented that Chew’s Malaysian abettor was, “just trying to help Chew Eng Han to get some Chew Eng Gum from Johor. What is the big deal”. Aaron Wasu remarked, “I don’t know why Chew Eng Han hired him.. May be they are both trying to walk in the water with faith”.

Whatever Chew’s motives may have been for giving up on his relationship with Kong, or for trying to escape, it is very clear that he now has no choice but to serve the time for his crimes.