A MESSAGE TO OUR MEMBERS ON COC'S PROPOSAL TO REMOVE 8 MEMBERS
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We are sad to inform you that the Commissioner of Charities (COC) has notified the Management Board of his intention to remove eight City Harvest Church leaders and members from their office(s) or employment as governing board member, officer, agent or employee of, or trustee for, the Church.
They are Senior Pastor Kong Hee, Pastor Tan Ye Peng, Serina Wee, Sharon Tan, John Lam, Chew Eng Han, Teo Meng How and Jacqueline Tan.
At this point, they have not been removed yet.
On 31 May 2010 the COC instituted an inquiry under section 8 of the Charities Act (Cap 37) ("the Act") into our Church. Following the inquiry, nine City Harvest Church leaders and members, including the eight individuals mentioned above and the wife of Pastor Kong, Sun Ho, were suspended from their office(s) or employment as governing board member, officer, agent or employee of, or trustee for, the Church in June and August 2012.
In December 2012, the COC had requested for these suspended individuals, to voluntarily extend their suspension until six months after the conclusion of the criminal proceedings involving six of the eight affected individuals.
The COC informed the suspended individuals that should they not give their consent for the extension, the COC may proceed to consider removal under section 25A of the Act.
But despite the fact that a majority of the nine suspended individuals had voluntarily consented to the extension of their suspension, the COC has notified all of the individuals, with the exception of Sun, of his intention to remove them from their office(s) or employment of the Church, following a 10-month suspension.
What happens now
Pastor Kong and Pastor Tan will continue to perform their pastoral duties.
Under section 29 of the Act, before the COC makes an order to remove without his consent a governing board member of a charity or trustee for a charity, or an officer, agent or employee of a charity, the COC shall give him not less than one month’s notice of the COC proposal, inviting representations to be made to the COC within a time specified in the notice.
The eight have until 13 May 2013 to make their representations to COC on why they should not be removed.
This is a very challenging time for our eight Church leaders and members, their families, and our Church. Please continue to pray ceaselessly for them and for the Church. Let us remember what our Advisory Chairman Dr AR Bernard has exhorted us to do:
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Rom. 12:12 ESV)
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Aries Zulkarnain
Chairman, Management Board
City Harvest Church