Chew Eng Han agreed with senior counsel Edwin Tong that Sun Ho’s chart successes had nothing to do with the church buying back her albums.
In his evidence-in-chief earlier this week, Chew Eng Han had told the court of his suspicion that Sun Ho’s success was not genuine. Chew had told the court on Tuesday, Feb 27, that over the course of proceedings, when he saw that the church was buying back stocks of Ho’s CDs, and that Xtron was not profitable “despite the huge sales… because many of the albums were self-purchased.” He said he was convinced by the evidence that Ho’s success “was not real”.
To set the record straight in his cross-examination. He, Tong produced a bundle of charts, including the Recording Industry Association of Singapore (RIAS) charts and Taiwanese album charts. Tong showed the court that Ho’s albums—SUN*Day, Lonely Travel and Gain—had reached Number One each year they were released.
Tong brought out an RIAS chart dated 2002, where SUN*Day was at Number One. He compared this with the exhibit Chew had relied on which was dated 2003—a year after Ho’s chart success. He showed a second chart from Taiwan, where Lonely Travel had reached Number One in October 2003, nine months before the CHC Board decided to buy back the albums in August 2004.
Tong also reminded Chew that he was on the CHC Board at the time and had known about the buyback, and he had approved it. He agreed with Tong that this decision had been discussed and cleared with the auditors.
Tong: “In other words…you are saying that she already hit number 1 before the exercise was done to buy the CDs?”
Chew: “Yes, that’s correct. Yes, your Honour.”
Tong: “In fact, that’s the case for all three albums, right?”
Chew: All three albums.
Today, Chew also confirmed with Tong that Kong never once told him to withhold any information from the lawyers and auditors. He also agreed that both the auditor, Foong Daw Ching and the lawyer, Christina Ng understood the need for not disclosing any transactions relating to the Crossover Project in CHC’s books.
The court heard that to avoid disclosure, Chew came up with the idea of Xtron issuing bonds to CHC in order to fund the Crossover. Later, when the need for disclosure arose, Chew came up with another idea to move Ho’s artist management from Xtron to Ultimate Assets so that Wahju Hanafi could manage her with his own funds.
Chew had explained in his EIC that in order to free up Hanafi’s monies which he loaned to Firna, CHC bought bonds from Firna, and Hanafi gave his promise to use the money that Firna returned him to support the Crossover Project.
Auditors Knew Part Of ARLA Would Be Used For Bond Redemptions
The day’s proceedings continued with cross examination of Chew by senior counsel Kannan Ramesh, defense lawyer for CHC finance manager Sharon Tan.
Chew agreed that Tan’s role was just to execute the paperwork for the bond redemptions.
As with the testimony of previous defendants, Chew stated that the plan to convert the bonds into advanced rental (under the ARLA) to Xtron had been made known to CHC’s auditors and lawyers.
Chew recalled that lawyer Christina Ng from Rajah and Tann had confirmed with him that Xtron was free to use the proceeds from the ARLA for other purposes, before a new property was secured for the church.
The prosecution alleges that the ARLA was just a sham to disguise more money being funneled out of the church to create the appearance that its bond investments had been redeemed.
In addition to running the bond redemption plan by the Rajah and Tann lawyers, auditor Sim Guan Seng would definitely have known that part of the advanced rental to Xtron would be used to redeem the bonds. There was no way it could escape him, in fact; he was an intelligent man, said Chew.
Lines Can Become Hazy, Says Chew
In his cross-examination by N. Sreenivasan, lawyer for Tan Ye Peng, Chew agreed that Kong Hee and Tan Ye Peng placed a lot of weight on the advice of Foong Daw Ching, the one-time managing director of audit firm Baker Tilly. Whenever Kong was anxious about any financial matter, Foong’s counsel would put him at peace and ease, the court heard.
In Chew’s professional interpretation as a fund manager, he maintains that no church funds have been used to fund the Crossover Project, in that it had been expended off. He confirmed that this was the same position Foong had taken. However, Chew said that he understood why some people would think otherwise — as long as it has been touched, it has been used.
Mr Sreenivasan will continue his cross-examination on Monday, Feb 2 at 9.30am.
中文报道 – 城市丰收审讯：何耀珊在CD回购前已登上排行榜冠军