Trustee on Crossover Project: 'We wanted to reach out to a harsh world'

Trustee on Crossover Project: 'We wanted to reach out to a harsh world'

SINGAPORE - IT'S A cruel world where people listen only to the rich and successful.

That was why City Harvest Church (CHC) came up with the Crossover Project - where Ms Ho Yeow Sun would go into the secular world and become a successful pop singer.

This way, she could take the opportunity to preach to those who do not usually associate themselves with church and Christianity.

Said church trustee Susan Ong: "We had to send someone (into the secular world) who was talented, had a gift, but will not be tarnished (by secular culture)."

As the City Harvest trial continued on Monday, Madam Ong, who now lives in California, took the witness stand.

During cross-examination by church founder Kong Hee's lawyer, she took the opportunity to launch into a spiel about Ms Ho and the Crossover Project.

"We wanted to reach out to a harsh world where people will only listen to those who are rich and successful. (Ho was chosen) not because she is Kong Hee's wife but because she was suitable."

Madam Ong added that the only way for Ms Ho to be heard and noticed in the secular world was to also be rich and successful.

Yet she emphasised that Ms Ho did not do this for personal gain and that despite her glamorous image, she was in fact "a very wholesome lady" who had raised a son who is "wholesome, balanced and good natured".

Madam Ong is one of three CHC trustees who act as custodians for the church's assets. Married to Mr Derek Dunn, former executive pastor of CHC, she also works for an insurance company and specialises in risk management and compliance.

Responding to a question from Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Christopher Ong, the church trustee said she knew the bonds were used to bankroll Ms Ho's career in evangelising and that she saw nothing wrong with the investments.

Repeatedly saying that the bonds for Xtron Productions, Ms Ho's former artist management company, were not shams, she also insisted that the people at the company were "top notch" and "among the best in the region", with the company having a lot of potential.

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