'Church members voted for Crossover'

SINGAPORE - It was never a secret that Xtron Productions was managing the Crossover Project - City Harvest Church's mandate to use its co-founder Ho Yeow Sun's (in photo above) pop music to evangelise.

But the church had to be discreet about supporting Ms Ho's career because her message could be rejected if people knew her as a church representative, and so Xtron, a production company, was set up partly to do that job.

Lawyers for the six church leaders made clear on Wednesday that members had voted to support the project and were updated regularly during church services.

Defence lawyer Kannan Ramesh suggested that it was not "dishonest" to use the building funds to support the Crossover Project - something the state is accusing the church leaders of.

Mr Choong Kar Weng, a long- time church member and director of Xtron, which had managed Ms Ho between 2003 and 2008, agreed with the lawyer's summary of the matter: "If members of the church had donated money for the investment of property, and the monies were used by the church as an investment into Crossover, you would not regard that as dishonest.

"It would be an act in good faith because that investment was for the (church's) purpose."

Mr Choong also said the building funds could be used for investment as executive members of the church had approved this in a voting exercise.

In 2010, the members voted to approve the use of the fund for bond investments made in 2007 and 2008.

The state believes these investments were shams and conduits to illegally misuse the church's building fund for Ms Ho's music career.

The prosecution maintains that the "theological legitimacy" of the Crossover Project was immaterial.


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