City Harvest church leaders' trial: Fashion holds court

SINGAPORE- She may be on trial in one of the biggest cases in recent years, but that has not kept an accused from her entrepreneurial side.

On an Instagram post on Oct 23 last year, City Harvest Church (CHC) finance manager Sharon Tan Shao Yuen wrote that she had started an online store selling women's clothes.

The last tranche of the CHC leaders' trial ended last Sept 20.

The store's clothing has since shown up on local celebrities such as actress Jacelyn Tay and travel host Belinda Lee.

Last Thursday, pop singer Sun Ho, whose husband Kong Hee founded CHC and is also on trial, put up a congratulatory Instagram post: "The missystella_co online store is finally here. So proud of my frens... @sharontansy, Serina Wee n Jacq Tan... Rmb to check it out! (sic)" On Monday, Wee, CHC's former finance manager, appeared in court in a blue-and-white dress. Pictures of her in the outfit were then splashed in newspapers and on websites across Singapore. A similar dress can be bought from the store for $48.

And the black sleeveless dress Wee wore to court yesterday? Available (listed next to the blue-and-white number) for $52.

Designs from the online store have also been spotted on some of the supporters of Kong Hee and five of his deputies, who are accused of funnelling money into sham bonds to fund his wife's pop career.

Checks with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) showed the store's owners to be Mr Adrian Tan Peng Kiat and Ms Angie Koh Lee Ching. Mr Tan is Sharon Tan's husband of 14 years.

Ms Koh was in the spotlight last May, when she testified as a prosecution witness. Involved with more than 40 business entities, she is also Wee's colleague in Advante Consulting, which Wee set up after leaving CHC's employment.

Advante still manages the accounts of Xtron Productions, the artist management company of Sun Ho. Ms Koh took over from Wee as managing director of Advante in 2012.

Mr Rajan Supramaniam of Hilborne Law LLC said that Tan and Wee are not doing anything wrong as they are doing it in their personal capacity and it is not related to the trial.

"Ongoing court proceedings usually have a bearing only when you are applying for a job and if you lie when asked if you have court proceedings against you," he said.

A public relations consultant said that Wee is closely watched by netizens, who are savvy in online shopping.

"In some ways, there's an overlap in the target market, so it could be beneficial to the business," she said.

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