Finance manager was cross-examined by co-accused Chew

Finance manager was cross-examined by co-accused Chew
Chew Eng Han

After poking holes in the testimonies of fellow accused Kong Hee and John Lam in previous hearings, former fund manager Chew Eng Han turned his attention to Sharon Tan yesterday.

Four of the six accused, including Chew and Tan, allegedly conducted "sham bond investments" in Xtron and Firna by round-tripping church funds across several companies.

Chew began his line of questioning by asking about the Crossover Project, which was the plan to evangelise non-Christians through pop music.

He asked Tan why the church did not bear the financial risk of the project.

Said Chew: "Let's say if something belongs to you, then you should be responsible for it.

"So if the Crossover Project belongs to the church, then the church, by right, should be responsible to make sure it happens."

He also asked Tan why she had repeatedly approached him for help to resolve issues with the auditors when he was a member of the church's investment committee then.

Said Chew: "What value could members of the investment committee have added to help you solve your issues with audit?"

Tan responded by saying that Chew could offer advice as he played an important role in the structuring of the Xtron bonds, which CHC's auditor had taken issue with.

The court heard in previous sessions that the auditor, Mr Sim Guan Seng, was "relentless" in his dislike for the bonds invested in Xtron and Firna as they were "too complex to valuate".

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In a text message, Tan had referred to Mr Sim as "the difficult one".

Chew also questioned Mr Sim's role as an auditor as he had repeatedly raised concerns about the risks of CHC's investments into Amac, which Chew is the sole director of.

Said Chew: "It is not the auditor's duty to tell the board that it shouldn't be taking risk, because that really is the role of the board to assess."


This article was first published on Sep 19, 2014.
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