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Yahoo! Singapore reports,

City Harvest Church Twit

AGC warns City Harvest pastor over contemptuous tweets

The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) has issued warnings to a City Harvest Church pastor for two tweets that were deemed to be contemptuous of Singapore’s courts.

Pastor Tan Kim Hock, listed as a founding member and travelling mission pastor of the mega-church, posted a tweet to his account, @kimhock, on 5 May, the day Singapore’s State Courts overturned an application to acquit the six accused in the City Harvest Church funds misappropriation case.

“Wow, I’m amazed at the efficiency of ST. They knew it while the court is still going on or do they know earlier…” wrote Tan, while linking to the article breaking the news on The Straits Times’s website.

Responding to this, the AGC said Tan’s tweet implies that the Courts had given the national broadsheet preferential access to information about the outcome of the application to acquit the six accused, even before the decision by Presiding Judge See Kee Oon.

“The tweet thus further insinuates that the State Courts is biased and/or unfair, given that such treatment was not equally accorded to everyone else,” added a spokesperson for the AGC.

In reality, however, the story was published five minutes after Presiding Judge See ruled that the six accused had a case to answer, hence rendering the insinuations in Tan’s tweet “baseless and untrue”, said the AGC.

In another tweet the next day, Tan quoted a verse from the Bible, which reads, “I also noticed that under the sun there is evil in the courtroom. Yes, even the courts of law are corrupt!”

“Mr Tan has put forward no basis whatsoever for the insinuations in in the Ecclesiastes tweet that the ‘courts of law’ in Singapore are ‘corrupt’, or that the Court hearing the City Harvest Trial is corrupt,” said the AGC in response.


A screenshot of the tweet Tan posted on 9 May after removing his tweet quoting the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. (Screengrab from Twitter)

On 9 May, Tan removed the tweet quoting the Bible verse, and tweeted, “On hindsight, I realise that the tweet may be possibly misinterpreted and I have since removed it.” His tweet linking to the Straits Times article, however, remained on his feed until after he received the AGC’s warnings on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the AGC has also sought an apology from Tan for the posting of both tweets within a week from Tuesday, noting that action may be taken against him if he fails to do so.

By about 6:20pm, Tan changed his Twitter privacy settings to “protected”.

City Harvest founder Kong Hee, as well as four other leaders and a former church member, are on trial for channelling some $24 million in church building funds toward the advancement of Kong’s wife Ho Yeow Sun’s singing career, as well as the shifting of another $26.6 million to cover the first amount.

Last month, the State Courts threw out an application made by lawyers for the accused to acquit them of all their charges, ruling that the evidence provided by the prosecution shows that they do have a case to answer. All six have since indicated their willingness to take the stand to testify in their defence accordingly.

Edit: By Jeanette Tan, AGC warns City Harvest pastor over contemptuous tweets, Yahoo Newsroom, https://sg.news.yahoo.com/agc-warns-city-harvest-pastor-over-contemptuous-tweets-104508748.html, Published Tuesday 03/06/2014. (Accessed 05/06/2014.)

The TR Emeritus reports,

AGC: CHC Pastor’s tweets scandalise the judiciary

A reader has forwarded the following tweet from the twitter account @kimhock to TRE:

It shows that on 5 May 2014, he twitted the following message:

Wow, I’m amazed at the efficency of ST. They knew it while the court is still going on or do they know earlier …www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/judge-throws-out-application-acquit-city-harvest-church-leaders-20

The ST (i.e. Straits Times) article Kim Hock was referring to was an online news report about Presiding Judge See Kee Oon throwing out a court application to acquit City Harvest Church (CHC) leaders. Judge See said there is enough evidence for the trial to continue with all of the charges intact.

“In my view there is evidence to show that the investments were shams… and were merely disguises for something else,” the judge said.

ST reported the news on their website at 3:15pm on 5 May 2014. The court session was held earlier that day. In his tweet, Kim Hock is implying that ST appeared to know the judgment before the court session ended or even earlier.

The next day (6 May), Kim Hock twitted again. This time, he quoted a verse from the New Living Translation version of the Bible and broadcast it through Twitter:

Ecclesiastes 3:16 – “I also noticed that under the sun there is evil in the courtroom. Yes, even the courts of law are corrupt!”

Taking the 2 tweets on 5 and 6 May together, it appears that Kim Hock is not too happy with the judgment of the court. It is not known what he is trying to imply by quoting the Bible verse.

According to the CHC website [Link], Tan Kim Hock is a pastor of CHC as well as the Academic Dean of City Harvest School Of Theology:

And according to the Twitter page of City Harvest School Of Theology @chcsot, it regularly re-tweets messages from its pastors like @kimhock and even @konghee:

In other words, @kimhock is the twitter account of CHC pastor Tan Kim Hock.

It is interesting to note that Pastor Tan Kim Hock quoted the Bible verse Ecclesiastes 3:16 from the New Living Translation Bible:

Ecclesiastes 3:16 – “I also noticed that under the sun there is evil in the courtroom. Yes, even the courts of law are corrupt!”

In the more popular modern translations of the Bible e.g. the New International Version (NIV) Bible (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_International_Version), the verse is translated as:

Ecclesiastes 3:16 – “And I saw something else under the sun: In the place of judgment — wickedness was there, in the place of justice — wickedness was there.”

The Book of Ecclesiastes is actually 1 of 24 books of the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible. It is among the canonical “Books of Wisdom” in the Old Testament for most denominations of Christianity. According to rabbinic tradition, Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon in his old age (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecclesiastes).

John Wesley, co-founder of the Methodist Church in the 1700′s explained Ecclesiastes 3:16 [Link]:

This is another argument of the vanity of worldly things, and an hindrance of that comfort which men expect in this life, because they are oppressed by their rulers. Judgment – in the thrones of princes, and tribunals of magistrates.

Solomon is still showing that everything in this world without the fear of God is vanity. In these verses he shows, that power, of which men are so ambitious, and life itself, are worth nothing without it.

Was Pastor Tan Kim Hock really trying to say that “everything in this world without the fear of God is vanity” or was he trying to imply something else by quoting the verse from the New Living Translation Bible?

What do you think?

Source: Editorial, AGC: CHC Pastor’s tweets scandalise the judiciary, TR Emeritus, http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/06/04/agc-chc-pastors-tweets-scandalise-the-judiciary/, Published 04/06/2014. (Accessed 06/06/2014.)