Despite barking loudly about how he believe the Court let off the former City Harvest Church leaders too lightly, Law Minister K Shanmugam jumped to the defence of Kong Hee’s wife, Sun Ho, who was the sole recipient of the S$50 million fraud.
Referencing Sun Ho’s receiving the defrauded money to a “charity”, Minister K Shanmugam said:
“One has got to be careful about this. A beneficiary who receives proceeds without the appropriate knowledge does not automatically become a criminal. Supposing the person took the money and donated to another charity – does the recipient commit a criminal offence? We need to be careful.”
Church leader Sun Ho spent S$50 million of church funds on her doomed singing career, and the scam eventually become insolvent as more funds are needed to compensate for her terrible singing. Interestingly, the Singapore Court actually believed her words when she said she thought the S$50 million were actual investments into her “talent”. Sun Ho was not charged, while 6 other church leaders, including her pastor husband Kong Hee, were jailed between 6 months and 3½ years.
Law Minister K Shanmugam called for Singaporeans to “accept the sentence because it is the law”:
“The sentences reflect the law as it stands … The Courts decide these matters. All of us have to respect the decision, regardless of whether we agree or disagree with it.”