0 Penjelasan Pemerintah Singapura Terkait Kasus Hukum City Harvest Church

Oleh : Martin Simamora

Commissioner of Charities memiliki  fungsi umum menjaga kepercayaan publik melalui:
1. Mempromosikan  penggunaan efektif atas sumber-sumber  amal/derma
2. Mendorong pengembangan  metoda-metoda administrasi yang lebih baik
3. Memberikan   wali amal informasi mengenai berbagai  hal yang     mempengaruhi amal
4. Melakukan investigasi dan memeriksa  berbagai penyalahgunaan

Karena City Harvest Church terdaftar sebagai badan amal sebagaimana diberitakan BBC News, dengan  tujuan keagamaan  maka  berdasarkan  ketentuan pemerintah Singapura berada dibawah pengawasan Kantor COC.

City Harvest Church sendiri memiliki gereja-gereja afiliasi di Indonesia sebagaimana yang diperlihatkan oleh situs resmi gereja  tersebut :




Negara Singapura  melalui lembaga pemerintah yaitu Kantor  Comissioner of Charities ( sebuah lembaga yang merregulasi bedan-badan amal dan  lembaga-lembaga kemasyarakatan non profit atau Insitution of A Public Character yang melibatkan  beberapa kementerian) menyatakan bahwa lembaga ini telah menerima permintaan untuk menunda  pelaksanaan pemberhentian Kong Hee, Lam Leng Hung, Tan Ye Peng,Chew Eng Han, Tan Shao Yuen Sharon, Serina Wee Gek Yin, Kelvin Teo Meng How dan Tan Su Pheng Jacqueline, dari posisi mereka masing-masing dalam City Harvest Church (CHC) sampai tercapainya konklusi pemeriksaan-pemeriksaan tindak kejahatan yang  melibatkan enam individu utama.

Sebelum kita melihat lebih jauh  serangkaian penjelasan pemerintah Singapura yang telah diterbitkan sejauh ini  melalui serangkaian Media Release, mari kita  perhatikan mengapa COC menjadi lembaga  yang mengusung kasus City Harvest Church.


Apakah   Fungsi COC?
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Commissioner of Charities memiliki  fungsi umum menjaga kepercayaan publik melalui


1. Mempromosikan  penggunaan efektif atas sumber-sumber  amal/derma
2. Mendorong pengembangan  metoda-metoda administrasi yang lebih baik
3. Memberikan   wali amal informasi mengenai berbagai  hal yang     mempengaruhi amal
4. Melakukan investigasi dan memeriksa  berbagai penyalahgunaan

Ada 5 Administrator Sektor   untuk membantu Commisioner of Charities untuk mengawasi badan-badan amal dan   badan-badan kemasyarakatan non profit atau Institution of Public Character  pada sektornya masing-masing



-Ministry of Social and Family Development – sektor : Social and Walfare
-Ministry of Education – sektor: Education
-Ministry of Health – sektor : Health
-People’s Assciation – sektor: Community
-Singapore Sports Council – sektor: sports


Badan-badan amal atau lembaga-lembaga kemasyarakatan non profit/IPC dengan  tujuan-tujuan  keagamaan, seni dan warisan budaya, perlindungan lingkungan atau perbaikan lingkungan, kesejahteraan hewan, atau yang tidak  dapat dikategorikan secara pasti pada sektor-sektor diatas berada dibawah naungan kantor Commissioner of Charities.




Karena City Harvest Church terdaftar sebagai badan amal sebagaimana diberitakan BBC News, dengan  tujuan keagamaan  maka  berdasarkan  ketentuan pemerintah Singapura berada dibawah pengawasan Kantor COC.



City Harvest Church sendiri memiliki gereja-gereja afiliasi di Indonesia sebagaimana yang diperlihatkan oleh situs resmi gereja  tersebut :


Kemudian,tujuh dari delapan individu telah dipastikan tidak mengambil peran manajemen dan eksekutif dalam badan amal ini (City Harvest Church), dan  melanjutkan penskorsan dari posisi mereka masing-masing. City Harvest Church juga telah memastikan tidak melibatkan delapan individu tersebut untuk peran apapun  terkait manajemen dan eksekutif  didalam CHC. Sebuah perintah telah dikeluarkan untuk CHC agar memberikan pengkinian-pengkinian secara berkala terkait aktivitas-aktivitas utamanya dan posisi finansialnya untuk pemantauan melekat. Langkah-langkah yang diperlukan telah diambil untuk menjamin bahwa properti badan amal (CHC) tetap terlindungi, COC telah menyetujui permintaan untuk sebuah penangguhan  pelengseran hingga tercapai konklusi pemeriksaan tindak kriminal.


Mohon merujuk hal ini pada COC Statement di sini



Berikut ini  rangkaian Press  Release terkait pemeriksaan City Harvest Church sebagai berikut :



31 Mei 2010 :

Pernyataan Bersama  oleh Comissioner of Charities dan  Singapore Police Force

Intinya menyatakan : Kantor Commissioner of Charities (COC) dan  Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) sebuah departemen pada Singapore Police Force (SPF) telah  memulai investigasi-investigasi pada transaksi-transaksi finansiala yang melibatkan   beberapa individual dan perusahaan-perusahaan, yang  terkait atau terhubung dengan City Harvest Church.  COC telah menerima sejumlah   pengaduan terkait penyalahgunaan dana-dana dan telah menginformasikannya  pada CAD. Selengkapnya dapat dibaca pada   SPF Media Release dibawah ini



26 Juni 2012 :
Pemeriksaan Telah Menemukan Misconduct dan Mismanagement dalam City Harvest Church

Annex of Press Statement from the Commissioner of Charities (COC)

ANNEX

(A) Misrepresentation on the Use of the Charity’s Funds

1 In 2002, the Charity’s founders, Kong Hee and Ho Yeow Sun, embarked on a “Crossover Project” [“the Project”], with the purported intention to use Ho Yeow Sun’s secular music to connect with people and reach out to non-Christians.

2 In 2003, an individual alleged in the media that the Charity was funding Ho Yeow Sun’s music career. This attracted public attention. This individual eventually issued a public apology and retracted his allegations. During that period, the Charity had faced media scrutiny over the allegations. Subsequently, the Charity issued press statements and made several representations to its members to state that they had not funded Ho Yeow Sun’s music career.


3 Despite the representations made by the Charity and unknown to the Executive Members, the Charity’s funds were used to fund the Project. Over a period of 3 years (2007 to 2010), at least $23 million was used. However, during this period of time, the Executive Members were not told of the actual purpose of the use of these funds.



(B) Use of the Charity’s Funds to Fund the Project
4 Between December 2007 and May 2010, the Charity’s funds were used to finance the Project under the guise of donations to its affiliated church in Kuala Lumpur, known as the City Harvest Church Kuala Lumpur [“CHCKL”]. The funds were then transmitted by CHCKL to support the Project in the United States. During this period, at least $2.1 million was transferred from the Charity to CHCKL to fund the Project. The Inquiry revealed that Kong Hee, Tan Ye Peng, Kelvin Teo Meng How, Tan Shao Yuen Sharon, Serina Wee Gek Yin and Tan Su Pheng Jacqueline were aware of the true purpose of the donations to CHCKL.


5 In addition, donations and tithes to the Charity were transferred into a private fund known as the Multi-Purpose Account [“MPA”], administered by Serina Wee Gek Yin and Tan Su Pheng Jacqueline. Monies in this account were also used to fund the Project. For the period April 2007 to March 2010, the funds were used for purported expenditures of Kong Hee and Ho Yeow Sun, amounting to approximately $600,000 and $3 million respectively. Selected donors were asked to transfer their contributions originally meant for the Charity’s “Arise and Build” campaign to the MPA. Some members ceased or reduced their regular tithes to the Charity after they contributed funds to the MPA. Apart from this small group of members, the existence of the MPA was not made known to the Charity’s members. There was even an attempt to conceal the existence of this Account by closing the joint bank account and dealing only in cash transactions, which was kept in a safe at the Charity.


6 In or around April 2009, a plan was conceptualised by Tan Ye Peng, Chew Eng Han, Serina Wee Gek Yin and Tan Shao Yuen Sharon to transfer monies amounting to $600,000 donated by Wahju Hanafi to the Charity’s Building Fund via a “refund” of Building Fund donations into the MPA to meet some funding needs of the Project, which included US$100,000 to finance a media team from Singapore to publicise and write about Ho Yeow Sun’s music career in the United States. The Inquiry revealed that the Charity had drafted letters from Wahju Hanafi and one other person indicating that their donations to the Charity were intended for specific Pastors and employees of the Charity as love gifts. It was then arranged for these said Pastors and employees to receive the “refund” as love gifts and immediately thereafter to deposit these love gifts into the MPA. The Inquiry further revealed evidence which strongly suggests that the “refund” letters were backdated, i.e. the letters were dated close to or on the date of the donations and one of the letters was dated before the date of the donations.


(C) Schemes to Avoid Disclosure on Related Party Transactions
7 Between 2006 and 2008, Kong Hee’s company sold over $3 million worth of merchandise to the Charity. The Inquiry also revealed that Kong Hee did not disclose his interests in these related party transactions in the Charity’s financial statements. In 2008, Kong Hee “refunded” royalties to the Charity amounting to approximately $770,000 from the sale of his merchandise to the Charity from 2006 to 2008. The return of these royalties was ostensibly motivated by concerns that the Charity’s auditors would require Kong Hee’s royalties to be disclosed as related party transactions. The amount “refunded” by Kong Hee was concealed as “sales discount” given to the Charity. Subsequently, the purported refunds were reimbursed to Kong Hee from the MPA and from CHCKL. Kong Hee’s “refund” of royalties to the Charity was therefore cosmetic and he was instead never “out of pocket”. The Inquiry revealed that the individuals who were aware of the above avoidance in disclosure were Kong Hee, Kelvin Teo Meng How, Tan Shao Yuen Sharon, Serina Wee Gek Yin and Tan Su Pheng Jacqueline.



(D) Governance and Control Issues
8 Evidence suggested that certain members of the Charity’s Board have been less than prudent in the discharge of their duties toward the Charity and its members. For example, the appointment of Investment Manager, Chew Eng Han’s investment company, was not properly tabled and discussed by the Charity’s Board.


9 The Inquiry further revealed that when Chew Eng Han suffered financial difficulties, the Charity refunded donations amounting to about $338,000 to him in two separate tranches, i.e. $240,000 and $98,000. However, in respect of the $98,000, the Charity’s Board only gave approval for the refund of donations to Chew Eng Han 9 months after the refund was made.
10 The poor corporate governance in the Charity contributed, at least in part, to the fact that the Charity was able to maintain the above-mentioned activities for the past 3 years. The Inquiry revealed that those involved included Kong Hee, Lam Leng Hung and Tan Ye Peng.


9 April 2013
:
Commisioner of Charities  Bertindak untuk Melindungi Asset-Asset yang Dapat Didermakan—Mengundang Para Pihak Yang Mewakili   Terkait Proposal  Pelengseran  Individu-Individu (para pemimpin gereja)




Commissioner of Charities acts to protect charitable assets - Invites representations to proposal to remove individuals
BACKGROUND


1. Pursuant to section 8 of the Charities Act (“the Act”), the Commissioner of Charities (“COC”) instituted an Inquiry into the City Harvest Church (“the Charity”) on 31 May 2010. From the Report of the Inquiry dated 7 February 2011 (“the Inquiry Report”), it was revealed that there was misconduct and mismanagement in the administration of the Charity, particularly in relation to the funds that were in the Building Fund which had been raised and earmarked for specific purposes. Financial irregularities of at least $23 million from the funds have been discovered. These funds were used with the purported intention to finance Ho Yeow Sun’s secular music career. The Inquiry found that there was a concerted effort to conceal the movement of funds from its stakeholders. The details of the main acts of misconduct and mismanagement as extracted from the Report of the Inquiry are provided in the Annex.


2. The COC was concerned about the misconduct and mismanagement in the administration of the Charity. As such, the COC had, with the consent of the Attorney General (“AG”), suspended the following nine individuals from the exercise of their office or employment as governing board members, trustees, officers, agents and employees of the Charity under section 25(2)(i) of the Act, pending consideration being given to their removal. Pursuant to section 25A(2) of the Act, they were also suspended from their Executive Memberships of the Charity.




Date of Suspension Order
Names
Designations
26 June 2012
Kong Hee
Member of the Charity’s Board[1] and Executive Member

Lam Leng Hung
Chairman of the Charity’s Board[2], Trustee, Agent and Executive Member

Tan Ye Peng
Vice-Chairman of the Charity’s Board[3], Trustee, Employee, Agent and Executive Member

Kelvin Teo Meng How
Agent, Employee[4] and Executive Member

Tan Shao Yuen Sharon
Employee and Executive Member

Chew Eng Han
Agent and Executive Member

Tan Su Pheng Jacqueline
Employee and Executive Member

Ho Yeow Sun
Agent and Executive Member
24 July 2012
Serina Wee Gek Yin
Employee and Executive Member
24 August 2012
Ho Yeow Sun
Employee


[1] Kong Hee was the President of the Charity’s Board (till 10 April 2011).
[2] Lam Leng Hung was the Treasurer of the Charity’s Board, from 7 March 2010 to 10 April 2011.
[3] Tan Ye Peng was the Vice President of the Charity’s Board till 10 April 2011 (thereafter he was re-designated as Vice-Chairman).
[4] Kelvin Teo Meng How, the Executive Director (Administration Division), is an employee who exercises general control and management of the administration of the charity, and is a key officer of the Charity.


3. According to section 25(9) of the Act, the suspension orders, being a form of interim measure, are valid for a period of not more than 12 months from the dates of the suspension orders. Before the lapse of the 12-month suspension, the COC intends to proceed to the next stage of the process, which is to consider the removal of these individuals from their positions in the Charity based on the Inquiry’s findings, so as to protect the charitable property of the Charity. The individuals removed may continue with their religious duties which are separate from the holding of any governance or management positions in the Charity.



4. The regulatory action by the COC is independent of the criminal proceedings faced by six of the nine affected individuals (i.e. Kong Hee, Lam Leng Hung, Tan Ye Peng, Tan Shao Yuen Sharon, Chew Eng Han and Serina Wee Gek Yin).


5. However in view of the concurrent criminal proceedings against those six, the COC had on 28 December 2012, made a proposal to all the nine suspended individuals that the COC would defer the next stage of any regulatory action should they collectively agree to a voluntary extension of their suspension orders until 6 months after the conclusion of the criminal trial. This was done purely on a goodwill basis. This proposal was made to allow the affected parties time to focus on the criminal proceedings, and also to have sufficient time to make their case during the removal process, should they decide to. In the meantime, the property of the Charity remains protected.


6. The deadline for the consent was extended twice, and by 7 February 2013, eight out of the nine suspended individuals had initially agreed to the proposal made in December 2012. The COC was prepared to consider deferring the next stage of any regulatory action even though one of the suspended individuals declined to give consent. However, when the COC later asked the eight individuals to confirm their agreement to voluntarily extend their suspension (notwithstanding the lack of consent by the remaining individual), only five out of the eight were prepared to do so. Hence in view of the lack of collective agreement among the individuals, and the 12-month duration of the suspension orders, the COC has to proceed to the next stage of the process so as to protect the assets of the Charity.


PROPOSAL OF THE COMMISSIONER OF CHARITIES

7. Given the gravity of the Inquiry findings of misconduct and mismanagement in the administration of the Charity, the COC intends to remove the following eight individuals from their respective offices or employment as governing board members, trustees, officers, agents and/or employees of the Charity under section 25(1)(i) of the Act:

(a) Kong Hee;
(b) Lam Leng Hung;
(c) Tan Ye Peng;
(d) Kelvin Teo Meng How;
(e) Tan Shao Yuen Sharon;
(f) Tan Su Pheng Jacqueline;
(g) Chew Eng Han; and
(h) Serina Wee Gek Yin.


8. Further, should an order for removal be made under section 25(1)(i) of the Act, under section 25A(3) of the Act, the COC may terminate their Executive Memberships in the Charity, and prohibit them from resuming their Executive Memberships in the Charity for periods of not less than two years.


9. In respect of Ho Yeow Sun, the COC has reviewed the evidence against her, and at this point takes the view that there is insufficient evidence that she was responsible for, privy to or which by her conduct contributed to or facilitated the misconduct and mismanagement that took place in the Charity. Should new evidence be surfaced which indicates that she was so involved, the COC’s office may carry out further investigations and review the matter. In the meantime, the COC will proceed with the removal proceedings against the other eight individuals.


INVITATION OF REPRESENTATIONS

10. In relation to the proposal, pursuant to section 29(3) of the Act, the COC has to give notice to the eight individuals to remove them. Further, under section 29(2), read with section 29(1) of the Act, a public notice of the proposal to remove a governing board member, trustee or key officer is also required. It is noted that any such removal of an individual as governing board member, trustee or key officer will mean that the person is prohibited from taking up such positions in any charity in the future.


11. Based on these provisions, the COC has given notice to the following 4 individuals and invited them to make representations on his proposal to remove them:

(a) Tan Shao Yuen Sharon (as employee),
(b) Serina Wee Gek Yin (as employee);
(c) Tan Su Pheng Jacqueline (as employee); and
(d) Chew Eng Han (as agent)


12. For the following 4 individuals, the COC has also given notice and invited them to make representations. In addition, the COC would like to invite representations from the public to be made to him on his proposal to remove these 4 individuals:


(a) Kong Hee (as governing board member)
(b) Lam Leng Hung (as governing board member and trustee);
(c) Tan Ye Peng (as governing board member and trustee); and
(d) Kelvin Teo Meng How (as key officer)


13. Any such representation regarding the COC’s proposal to remove these four individuals, i.e. Kong Hee, Lam Leng Hung, Tan Ye Peng and Kelvin Teo Meng How should be made in writing, and submitted by 13 May 2013 (Monday) via mccy_charities@mccy.gov.sg or by post to the Office of the Commissioner of Charities at 140 Hill Street, #02-00 Old Hill Street Police Station, Singapore 179369, clearly stating “Representations on the COC’s Proposal following the Inquiry into the City Harvest Church”. All representations must be signed off with the full name, NRIC no. and contact details of the person making the representation.


14. For the purpose of making representations in relation to the COC’s proposal to remove Kong Hee (as governing board member), Lam Leng Hung (as governing board member and trustee), Tan Ye Peng (as governing board member and trustee) and Kelvin Teo Meng How (as key officer), should any person with specific information that can affect the findings in the Annex wish to be granted access to the Inquiry Report, he should write in to the COC, providing his full reasons for the request. The COC may at his sole discretion grant such requests if the COC is satisfied that there are good and sufficient reasons for giving that person access to the Inquiry report. Any person granted access must agree to the terms and conditions imposed by the COC for such access.
Invite for Representations
Deadline: 13 May 2013
Email: mccy_charities@mccy.gov.sg
Address: Office of the Commissioner of Charities, 140 Hill Street, #02-00 Old Hill Street Police Station, Singapore 179369
Requirement: All representations must be signed off with full name, NRIC number and contact details of the person making the representation.


15. The normal services of the Charity can continue as usual.


Issued by:
The Office of the Commissioner of Charities

Background

City Harvest Church (‘the Charity’) has been a registered charity since 1993. As at December 2009, the Charity had a congregation size of about 33,000 people. The congregation comprised approximately 728 Executive Members with voting powers, whilst the remainder were Ministry or Ordinary Members without voting powers.


Based on the Charity’s financial statements for the financial year ended 31 October 2009, the Charity’s annual income amounted to about $72 million whilst expenses amounted to about $48 million. Its net assets were estimated at $103 million.


In early 2010, the COC received complaints alleging the misuse of the Charity’s funds. COC reported the matter to the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), when it assessed that some of the Charity’s financial transactions needed to be investigated by the CAD for possible criminal wrongdoings.


On 31 May 2010, the COC and the CAD commenced investigations into financial transactions involving several individuals and companies, related to or connected to the Charity.


The COC has decided to take action under the provisions of the Charities Act so as to
(a) maintain public trust and confidence in CHC;
(b) promote the effective use of charitable resources; and
(c) enhance the accountability of CHC to donors, beneficiaries and the general public.


The COC concluded its Inquiry and, on 26 June 2012, suspended 8 individuals from the exercise of their office or employment as governing board members, officers, agents, employees and Executive Members of the Charity. Serina Wee Gek Yin was subsequently suspended on 24 July 2012.
Process of Removal Proceedings


The due process for the removal of any individual under section 25(1)(i) of the Charities Act is as follows:


a) The COC must firstly be satisfied from the findings of an Inquiry on a Charity conducted under the Charities Act that (a) there is or has been any misconduct or mismanagement in the administration of the charity; or (b) it is necessary or desirable to protect the charity’s assets. If so and with the consent of the Attorney General, he may suspend any trustee, governing board member, officer, agent or employee of the charity from the exercise of his office or employment, pending consideration given to their removal. The suspension order is an interim measure and the suspension from such positions shall not exceed 12 months.


b) Before the COC makes any order to remove any individual under section 25(1)(i) of the Charities Act, notice will be given to invite the affected individuals, the governing board members and trustees of the charity and/or any other persons (in relation to any proposal to remove a governing board member, trustee or key officer) to make representations to the COC within a specified time period, which would generally be 1 month. Affected individuals will have an opportunity to present reasons why they should not be removed.


c) The COC will decide on whether or not a removal order should be made based on the Inquiry’s findings and the representations received (if any). The COC may only make a removal order with the consent of the Attorney General as required under the Charities Act.


d) If any of the individuals removed is dissatisfied with the COC’s decision, he or she may appeal to the High Court, as provided for in the Charities Act.


The action by the COC to suspend or remove an individual is for the protection of a charity and its assets, and is based on the Inquiry’s findings of misconduct or mismanagement in the administration of the charity, and is independent of any criminal proceedings.



10 April 2013 :
Pernyataan dari Kantor Commisioner of Charities (COC)  Pada Proposal Untuk Memberhentikan Individu-individu terkait

Statement from Commissioner of Charities Office

10 April 2013

We refer to the media reports on the City Harvest Church case which quoted the statement
by Kong Hee that he and Ho Yeow Sun had already agreed to the voluntary suspension on
COC’s terms, and would like to make several clarifications.


In view of the concurrent criminal proceedings, the COC had on 28 December 2012
proposed to all nine individuals that the COC would defer the next stage of any regulatory
action should they collectively agree to a voluntary extension of their suspension orders.
The deadline for the consent was extended twice, and by 7 February 2013, eight out of the
nine suspended individuals, including Kong Hee and Ho Yeow Sun, had initially consented to
this proposal.


Even though one of the suspended individuals had declined to give consent, the COC was at
that time still prepared to defer regulatory action, as he felt that the risks of that single
individual’s lapse of suspension order could be managed.


To avoid any doubt, the COC asked the 8 individuals on 14 March 2013 to confirm in writing
that they would still agree to voluntarily extend their suspension, notwithstanding the lack
of consent by the remaining individual.


However, by the final deadline of 25 March 2013, only 5 of the 8 individuals provided their
consents. Kong Hee and Ho Yeow Sun were not amongst the 5 who consented, even though
they had agreed to do so earlier. Please refer to Annex A for the timeline of events.


The COC could not extend the suspension of just these 5 individuals and initiate removal
proceeding on the others. This is because the individual cases are linked, and adverse
findings may be made which may indirectly affect or implicate those who are not part of the
removal process.


Hence given the circumstances, and the lack of collective agreement among the individuals,
the COC had no choice but to proceed with regulatory action.


Office of Commissioner of Charities


Peran Attorney General Dibawah Charities Act dan Sebagai Penuntut Umum









Role of the Attorney-General under the Charities Act and as Public Prosecutor

The media reported the Commissioner of Charities regulatory action to remove eight City

Harvest Church leaders from office on Wednesday (10 April 2013). The media reports explained the removal process, which includes consent by the Attorney-General’s (AG) to the removal.


Six out of these eight office holders are also facing criminal proceedings in court.

The media also sent a query to the Attorney-General’s Chambers to find out more about the AG’s role in the regulatory action (under the Charities Act) and his role as the Public Prosecutor.



AGC’s statement to the media was as follows:

The AG performs a role in the regulatory action (which is provided for under the Charities Act) which is different from that of the Public Prosecutor in the criminal proceedings (as provided for under the Constitution).

Under the Charities Act, the COC conducts the inquiry, invites representations from the parties and members of the public, considers all facts and circumstances, and then decides whether he wishes to make a removal order in respect of any individual. It is only if the COC decides to make a removal order that the COC seeks the AG’s consent, as provided under the Charities Act. It is a “safeguard” before the removal order is made. If the COC decides not to remove any individual, the role is not triggered.

In the criminal proceedings, CAD conducts the investigations to gather the evidence. The AG’s role as Public Prosecutor (under the Constitution) is to decide if the case is a proper one to prosecute, and then to present the prosecution’s case before the Court. The outcome is determined by the Judge.

The two sets of proceedings serve different objectives – the regulatory action is concerned with, inter alia, the protection of assets of the charity, while the criminal proceedings are concerned with enforcement of criminal laws. The issues are not identical, and the threshold for proof is different.






23 April 2013 :


Pernyataan dari Kantor  Commisioner of Charities (COC) pada Proses  Mengundang Para Reperesentasi dari Publik



Statement from Commissioner of Charities Office on City Harvest Church
     
           The COC’s office has received queries from the media regarding the process of inviting representations from the public, and provides the clarifications below. 


2.         The COC’s Inquiry has found misconduct and mismanagement in the administration of the City Harvest Church (“Charity”).  The removal proceedings are part of a regulatory process under the Charities Act which follow from the Inquiry’s findings.  The COC’s office is now seeking representations from all the affected individuals, and members of the public on the proposal to remove four of those individuals (i.e. Kong Hee, Lam Leng Hung, Tan Ye Peng and Kelvin Teo Meng How as governing board member, trustee and/or key officer).

3.        Should any individual wish to be granted access to the Inquiry Report, the individual may write to the COC’s office to make a request.  The COC may at his discretion grant such request.  In determining whether the request for access to the Inquiry Report should be granted, the COC will consider whether there are good and sufficient reasons for example, whether the individual has provided the COC with information which may affect the Inquiry’s findings given in the Annex to the COC’s press statement dated 9 April 2013 and why access to the Inquiry Report would be necessary before he/she can make representations.  The COC may require the person to provide a formal statement in addition to other terms and conditions which may be imposed.


4.         All the suspended individuals and their lawyers were given access to the Inquiry Report after they were served with the Suspension Orders in June 2012.  The Charity’s Governing Board also had access to the Inquiry Report as of September 2012.  Furthermore, the COC’s office provided copies of the full Inquiry Report to the 8 suspended individuals to enable them to make representations on their case when they served with the Notice of Intention to Remove. 


5.         The COC’s office would like to reiterate that his proposal to remove the 8 individuals relate to their management and governance roles in the Charity.  The affected individuals may continue with their religious duties as Pastors of the Charity, as this is separate from the holding of any governance or management positions.  The COC will consider every representation fully and fairly, before making the final decision.  Please refer to the attached Questions and Answers on the COC’s proposal for removal.

Refer to Annex A for FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions dan  Jawaban-Jawaban pada Proposal COC terkait  Melengserkan




Page 1 of 3


Annex A

Inquiry into the City Harvest Church
Frequently Asked Questions & Answers (FAQ)


COC’s offer on Voluntary Extension of the Suspension


1. Why did the COC ask the 9 individuals to voluntarily extend their Suspension
Order?


A Suspension Order issued by the COC under section 25 of the Charities Act is only valid for
a period of 12 months. Before the lapse of the 12-month suspension, the COC intended to
proceed to the next stage of the process, which was to consider the removal of these
individuals from their positions in the charity based on the Inquiry’s findings.



In view of the proximity of the criminal trial, the COC had on 28 December 2012 made a
proposal to all 9 individuals that the COC would defer the next stage of any regulatory action
should they collectively agree to a voluntary extension of their suspension orders. This is a
goodwill gesture by COC which is not required by law.


This proposal was to allow the affected parties time to focus on the criminal trial, and also to have sufficient time to maketheir case in relation to the proceedings under the Charity Act, should they wish to. Withsuch a voluntary extension by all concerned parties, the property of CHC would remain dulyprotected, which is the primary concern of the COC.



2. What happened during the process of seeking voluntary extension of the

individuals’ Suspension Orders?

The deadline for the consent was extended twice, and by 7 February 2013, 8 out of the 9
suspended individuals, including Kong Hee and Ho Yeow Sun, had initially consented to this
proposal. Even though one of the suspended individuals declined to give consent, the COC
was at that time still prepared to defer regulatory action for the benefit of the 8 who had
given consent, as the COC felt that any risk of the lapse of suspension order in relation to
one individual could be managed.



The earlier consents were given on the understanding that the COC would only proceed to
defer the next stage of regulatory action if there were 9 consents. As only 8 of the 9 had
consented, to avoid any doubt, the COC asked the 8 individuals on 14 March 2013 to
confirm in writing that they would still agree to voluntarily extend their suspension,
notwithstanding the lack of consent by the remaining individual.



By the final deadline of 25 March 2013, only 5 of the 8 individuals provided their consents.
Kong Hee was not amongst the 5 who consented.


Page 2 of 3

3. Since 5 individuals had consented to the voluntary suspension, why did the
COC still proceed to commence proceedings to remove the concerned
individuals?


The COC could not accept the voluntary extension of the suspension of just these 5
individuals and initiate removal proceedings in relation to the others. This is because the
cases are linked. Adverse findings (if any) as a result of representations made in relation to
those involved in the removal process may affect those who are not part of the removal
process.



The COC’s approach to act concurrently in relation to all individuals is to ensure fair and
consistent treatment.


Given that the suspension orders will lapse in June 2013, and the lack of collective
agreement among the individuals to the voluntary extension of their suspension, the COC
had no choice but to proceed with regulatory action to initiate their removal.



COC’s Proposal to Remove


4. What is the COC’s basis for proposing to remove the individuals?

The basis for the COC’s proposal to remove the 8 individuals stems from the findings of the
Inquiry that commenced on 31 May 2010. The Inquiry found mismanagement and
misconduct in the administration of the Charity, i.e. the City Harvest Church. The regulatory
actions by the COC have nothing to do with religion or religious practices.



A summary of the said findings is attached as Annex to the Press Statement that was issued
on 9 April 2013.


5. Why is the COC’s office inviting public representation on the removal of 4
individuals, namely Kong Hee, Lam Leng Hung, Tan Ye Peng and Kelvin Teo
Meng How? What should be provided in the representations?

The Inquiry found mismanagement and misconduct in the administration of the Charity, i.e.
the City Harvest Church. The removal proceedings are part of a regulatory process under
the Charities Act which follows from the Inquiry’s findings.



The COC’s invitation for representations is to allow members of the public to provide
representations on the COC’s proposal to remove (on matters such as whether the COC
should proceed to remove, the timing of such removal, and the impact of the proposed
removal on the Charity and/or any persons), and to allow persons with additional or specific
information which may affect the findings in the Annex to the Press Statement that was
issued on 9 April 2013 to provide such information. The COC may require the person to
provide a formal statement in addition to other terms and conditions which may be imposed.
The COC will consider every representation, fully and fairly, made within the time specified in
the notice.


Page 3 of 3


6. Why is the COC taking action to remove the individuals now before the
commencement of the criminal trial? Is the COC prejudging the case?

The COC is not pre-judging the issues to be decided in the criminal trial. The objectives of
the criminal trial are distinct and separate from the objectives of the COC’s actions.
While the criminal trial would be concerned with whether criminal offences have been
committed based on the investigations of the Criminal Affairs Department, the COC’s actions,
as provided for in the Charities Act, focus on:


(a) Protecting charitable assets;
(b) maintaining public trust and confidence in charitable institutions;
(c) promoting the effective use of charitable resources; and
(d) enhancing the accountability of charities to donors, beneficiaries and the general
public.


The issues and considerations are not the same, and the threshold of proof is also different.
The basis for the COC’s proposal to remove the 8 individuals stems from the findings of the
Inquiry of mismanagement and misconduct in the administration of the Charity and the COC
assessed that there was a need to act in protection of the property of the Charity. As a
safeguard, the Attorney-General’s consent must also be obtained before such removal may
be effected.


A summary of the said findings is attached as Annex to the Press Statement that was issued
on 9 April 2013.


7. Can the individuals continue to preach if they are removed from their positions
as governing board member, trustees and key officer?
Yes. They may continue with their religious duties as Pastors of the church which are
separate from the holding of any governance or management positions in the charity.



http://app.mccy.gov.sg/Portals/1/Summary/Pressroom/FAQs_COC%20Media%20Statement%20%2823%20April%202013%29.pdf



13 Mei 2013  :
Commissioner of Charities  Menutup Undangan  bagi Represenstasi-Representasi Publik pada Proposal Untuk Melengserkan Individu-Individu Terkait




Inquiry into the City Harvest Church
Commissioner of Charities Closes Invitation for Public Representations on Proposal to Remove IndividualsRepresentations from Public


On 9 April 2013, the Commissioner of Charities (“COC”) invited representations from the public to be made to him by 13 May 2013 on his proposal to remove the following 4 individuals:
(a)   Kong Hee (as governing board member)
(b)   Lam Leng Hung (as governing board member and trustee);
(c)   Tan Ye Peng (as governing board member and trustee); and
(d)   Kelvin Teo Meng How (as key officer).


The invitation for representations from the public is now closed.  The COC’s office wishes to thank members of the public for writing in with their views.


Representations from Affected Individuals


On 9 April 2013, the COC also invited representations by 13 May 2013 from 8 individuals (the 4 individuals above, as well as the following 4 individuals), on his proposal to remove them:

(a)   Tan Shao Yuen Sharon (as employee)
(b)   Serina Wee Gek Yin (as employee);
(c)   Tan Su Pheng Jacqueline (as employee); and
(d)   Chew Eng Han (as agent).

The COC also invited the Governing Board of the City Harvest Church (“the Charity”) to provide representations by 13 May 2013.  


Requests by Individuals


All the 8 individuals have separately written to the COC through their lawyers to request for a two-month extension for them to make their representations for these proceedings.


To act fairly towards the suspended individuals whilst protecting the property of the Charity, the COC has decided to extend the deadline for the making of representations by 2 months until 13 July 2013.  This is a goodwill gesture which exceeds the time to be accorded for the making of such representations in the Charities Act (“the Act”).  In return, all the 8 individuals voluntarily agreed to an extension of their respective suspension orders by 2 months.




The Governing Board of the Charity has similarly asked for, and obtained, a 2-month extension of the deadline.


Discharge of Suspension Orders of Ho Yeow Sun


On 26 June and 24 August 2012, the COC had, with the consent of the Attorney General (“AG”), suspended Ho Yeow Sun from the exercise of her office and employment as an agent, employee and Executive Member of the Charity together with the individuals named in paragraph 3.  At the material time, it was necessary or desirable for the COC to take this interim protective measure immediately to protect the property of the Charity given the Inquiry’s findings of serious mismanagement and misconduct.   


Pursuant to section 25(11) of the Act, the COC has reviewed the suspension orders in relation to Ho Yeow Sun, and being satisfied that it is now appropriate to discharge the orders, has discharged the suspension orders with regard to Ho Yeow Sun’s positions and Executive Membership in the Charity with effect from 13 May 2013.  The Governing Board of the Charity and Ho Yeow Sun were notified today.


Conclusion

The COC will consider all representations received within the deadline fully and fairly so as to decide whether to proceed with the proposal to remove or whether his proposal should be modified.  As required under the Act, the COC may only make a removal order with the consent of the AG.


Issued by:

The Office of the Commissioner of Charities

13 May 2013



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