During the appeal hearing of corrupted pastor Kong Hee of City Harvest Church, Kong Hee’s lawyer PAP MP Edwin Tong said that the pastor may have put the funds to wrong use but he did so in good faith.
“Even if City Harvest Church (CHC) founder Kong Hee had put church funds to the wrong use, he did so in good faith and there was never any dishonesty behind it. Moreover, he did not obtain a single cent for his own gain.”
The PAP MP for Marine Parade GRC was trying to overturn three convictions for dishonest misappropriation of the church money, and said that the pastor’s 8 years’ jail sentence is excessive. PAP MP Edwin Tong then continued to play with semantics and speak in forked tongue to defend the corrupted pastor:
“The intention to put the funds to wrongful use is not the same as the intention to cause wrongful loss. “Dishonesty” is defined in the Penal Code as having the intention to cause wrongful gain to one person, or wrongful loss to another. In this case, the bond proceeds were applied in good faith to CHC’s advantage, going towards a project that had almost the entirety of the church supporting it. Kong Hee had almost religiously consulted lawyers and auditors about the bond transactions. As far as Kong Hee is concerned, he does not have a shred of paper that said his colleagues were not to give anything but the true facts to the lawyers or auditors.”
Pastor Kong Hee was found guilty earlier this year for misappropriating funds up to S$24 million. The funds are given as “tithing to god” by City Harvest Church members. Pastor Kong Hee then used the part of the fund to buy a luxurious 5,232 square feet duplex penthouse at S$9.3 million in 2007, and fund his wife’s doomed singing career in United States.