Singapore megachurch City Harvest Church has been under the spotlight ever since it was reported in March that the church had made a $310 million investment in Suntec City Convention Centre. Questions were asked on how did a church managed to get so much money and the church did not help itself when it refused to answer the questions.
So when the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) confirmed that the church founder, Reverend Kong Hee, was under investigation for misusing church funds, you can also hear the glee from Singaporeans. Reverend Kong, who is also the husband of pop-star Sun Ho, and 16 other individuals in City Harvest Church are being investigated by the CAD after complaints were made to the Commissioner of Charities (COC) on the misuse of church funds. Already Singaporeans are comparing the case to the funding scandals that had engulfed the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and Ren Ci.
I say, “Not so fast.”
Let not rush to judgment because details are bare at the moment and we don’t even know if charges will be brought against City Harvest. People are innocent until proven otherwise and even then, we need to see what the charges are. A lot of Singaporeans still think Ren Ci’s abbot Ming Yi is guilty of taking money even when that’s not what he was charged with.
Ming Yi was convicted of only covering up the matter because he wanted to save the face of Ren Ci. And that was after getting a promise from the person who stole the money that he would return the money in full. Even the judge agreed that Ming Yi did not financially benefited from the case.
So before words like corruption and scandal are thrown, let’s just wait for an official word from the police. Who knows; this might turn out to be nothing.