Malaysian Prime Minister admits US$700 million in his account

This is an embarrassment for Malaysia:

“Then I asked why was it transferred to your accounts?… Why did it enter Najib Razak’s accounts? How much money? US$700 million.

“If you multiply that by three point something…2.6 billion goes into his personal account. He said this, he admitted,” Muhyiddin said in the leaked video.

The video ends abruptly after Muhyiddin says, “so I said why did you put into your personal account”.

Source: In leaked video, Muhyiddin says Najib admitted RM2.6 billion in his accounts – The Malaysian Insider

CHC member alleged defamation in report

City Harvest Church (CHC) member writes to MCYS to complain of Commissioner of Charities statements.

CHC member writes to MCYS alleging defamation

A City Harvest Church member, Christopher Pang, has written to Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth & Sports Chan Chun Sing alleging that the Commissioner of Charities’ statement on the misconduct and mismanagement in the administration of the charity is defamatory.

Speaking up for the five leaders who were charged in court on Wednesday, Mr Pang claimed that the statement is defamatory, and asked for an apology from the Commissioner of Charities.

He asserted that as a society, the church does not owe members of the public any account of how its funds are used, yet audited accounts are posted on the church’s website for transparency and accountability.

He added that he was not supportive of the move by the Commissioner of Charities to suspend eight church leaders from their offices.

He is particular about the word usage and allegations among others:

There was even an attempt to conceal the existence of this Account by closing the joint bank account and dealing only in cash transactions, which was kept in a safe at the Charity.

Blah blah.

Really?

Of all that was in the report, subject is scrutinizing it over possible defamations? The point of the report is much more than that. Christians in general will not want to be prejudiced over an incident as tiny as City Harvest Church incident; subject should not pick on work processes done incorrectly as he alleged. His allegations act as a poor diversion to the bigger picture — a charitable organization has mismanaged a large sum of money. While he can continue to be upset of over possible defamations, no charity organization should let the mismanagement incident slide and work on improving their accountability among charities.

Pastor Kong Hee charged

Five senior members of City Harvest Church (CHC), including its founder Kong Hee, have been charged in court for alleged criminal breach of trust. The three charges they faced are:

  1. Sham transactions to fund Sun Ho’s music endeavor
  2. Series of transactions to clear (1), round tipping
  3. Covering of tracks

Continue reading “Pastor Kong Hee charged”

Where did the 23 million go?

With regards to the City Harvest Church inquiry, the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) commenced investigations into financial transactions involving several individuals and companies, related or connected to the City Harvest Church (Charity). Misconduct and mismanagement in the administration of the Charity is uncovered.

Key notes:

  • Financial irregularities of at least $23 million from the Charity’s funds have been discovered. These funds were used with the purported intention to finance Ho Yeow Sun’s secular music career to connect with people.
  • There was a concerted effort to conceal this movement of funds from its stakeholders.
  • The following persons from the exercise of their office or employment as governing board members, officers, agents or employees of the Charity are suspended with immediate effect:
    1. Kong Hee (Member of the Charity’s Board and Executive Member);
    2. Lam Leng Hung (Chairman of the Charity’s Board, Trustee, Agent and Executive Member);
    3. Tan Ye Peng (Vice-Chairman of the Charity’s Board, Trustee, Employee, Agent and Executive Member);
    4. Tan Shao Yuen Sharon (Employee and Executive Member);
    5. Chew Eng Han (Agent and Executive Member);
    6. Ho Yeow Sun (Agent and Executive Member);
    7. Kelvin Teo Meng How (Agent, Employee and Executive Member); and
    8. Tan Su Pheng Jacqueline (Employee and Executive Member).

Ho Yeow Sun (or Sun Ho) music endeavor

In 2002, the Charity’s founders, Kong Hee and Ho Yeow Sun (“Sun Ho”), embarked on a “Crossover Project” [“the Project”], with the purported intention to use Sun Ho’s secular music to connect with people and reach out to non-Christians.

Despite the representations made by the Charity and unknown to the Executive Members, the Charity’s funds were used to fund the Project. Over a period of 3 years (2007 to 2010), at least $23 million was used. However, during this period of time, the Executive members were not told of the actual purpose of the use of these funds.

Between December 2007 and May 2010, the Charity’s funds were used to finance the Project under the guise of donations to its affiliated church in Kuala Lumpur, known as the City Harvest Church Kuala Lumpur [“CHCKL”]. The funds were then transmitted by CHCKL to support the Project in the United States. During this period, at least $2.1 million was transferred from the Charity to CHCKL to fund the Project.

In addition, donations and tithes to the Charity were transferred into a private fund known as the Multi-Purpose Account [“MPA”]

For the period April 2007 to March 2010, the funds were used for purported expenditures of Kong Hee and Sun Ho, amounting to approximately $600,000 and $3 million respectively.

In or around April 2009, a plan was conceptualised by Tan Ye Peng, Chew Eng Han, Serina Wee Gek Yin and Tan Shao Yuen Sharon to transfer monies amounting to $600,000 donated by Wahju Hanafi to the Charity’s Building Fund via a “refund” of Building Fund donations into the MPA to meet some funding needs of the Project, which included US$100,000 to finance a media team from Singapore to publicise and write about Sun Ho’s music career in the United States.

Source: MCYS

Summary of misappropriation

  • at least $23 million was used, over a period of 3 years (2007 to 2010),
  • at least $2.1 million was transferred from the City Harvest Church to City Harvest Church Kuala Lumpur to fund the “Crossover Project,”
  • Kong Hee expenditure: $600,000,
  • Sun Ho expenditure: $3 million,
  • transfer monies amounting to $600,000 donated by Wahju Hanafi to the Charity’s Building Fund,
  • US$100,000 to finance a media team from Singapore to publicise and write about Sun Ho’s music career in the United States,
  • Love gifts,
  • Kong Hee’s company sold over $3 million worth of merchandise to the City Harvest Church,
  • However, in 2008, Kong Hee “refunded” royalties to the Charity amounting to approximately $770,000,
  • Chew Eng Han suffered financial difficulties, the Charity refunded donations amounting to about $338,000 to him in two separate tranches, i.e. $240,000 and $98,000. However, in respect of the $98,000, the Charity’s Board only gave approval for the refund of donations to Chew Eng Han 9 months after the refunds were made.

This is not the first time a charity, in this case City Harvest Church (CHC), was scrutinized, previously there was the National Kidney Foundation as well as Ren Ci.

City Harvest’s Kong Hee arrested

Latest after the Commercial Affairs Department probed into the alleged misuse of church funds in May 2010, this has led to the arrest of the pastors:

City Harvest church founder Kong Hee and 4 others arrested

City Harvest church founder Kong Hee and four others from his ministry were arrested by the police on Tuesday morning, two years after investigations first began into the homegrown church.

Mr Kong, deputy pastor Tan Ye Peng and three other church leaders were picked up by the police at their homes early on Tuesday morning and taken in for questioning over the alleged misuse of church funds as well as alleged breaches under charity laws.

Source: Straits Times

And on Channel News Asia:

CAD arrests 5 City Harvest Church members, including Pastor Kong Hee

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean has stressed that the charges filed by CAD are against the five individuals from the City Harvest Church regarding the use of church funds.

He said the charges are not filed against CHC itself and the church is free to continue its church services and activities.

Mr Teo added that CAD carries out investigations when it receives information that a criminal offence may have been committed.

Sun Ho has not been arrested but is suspended from her position as an Executive Member of the Church. Story is still developing.

How to be happier

Excerpts from paper by Elizabeth W. Dunn, Daniel T. Gilbert and Timothy D. Wilson

If money doesn’t make you happy, then you probably aren’t spending it right

The relationship between money and happiness is surprisingly weak, which may stem in part from the way people spend it.

We suggest that consumers should

  1. buy more experiences and fewer material goods;
  2. use their money to benefit others rather than themselves;
  3. buy many small pleasures rather than fewer large ones;
  4. eschew extended warranties and other forms of overpriced insurance;
  5. delay consumption;
  6. consider how peripheral features of their purchases may affect their day-to-day lives;
  7. beware of comparison shopping; and
  8. pay close attention to the happiness of others.

On point 2, use their money to benefit others rather than themselves:

Choosing to give money away—or even being forced to do so—led to activation in brain areas typically associated with receiving rewards (Harbaugh, Mayr, & Burghart, 2007).

On point 5, delay consumption:

…there is a second reason why “consume now, pay later” is a bad idea: it eliminates anticipation, and anticipation is a source of “free” happiness. The person who buys a cookie and eats it right away may get X units of pleasure from it, but the person who saves the cookie until later gets X units of pleasure when it is eventually eaten plus all the additional pleasure of looking forward to the event.

Source

United States loses AAA credit rating from S&P

United States loses AAA credit rating.

United States loses AAA credit rating from S&P

The United States lost its top-notch AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor’s on Friday, in a dramatic reversal of fortune for the world’s largest economy.

S&P cut the long-term U.S. credit rating by one notch to AA-plus on concerns about growing budget deficits.

U.S. Treasuries, once undisputedly seen as the safest investment in the world, are now rated lower than bonds issued by countries such as the UK, Germany, France or Canada.

The outlook on the new U.S. credit rating is negative, S&P said in a statement, a sign that another downgrade is possible in the next 12 to 18 months. (Source: Reuters)

Not too surprising.

Rich man who has sex with daughter silences media

David Bruce McMahan is a philanthropist and financier who has supported initiatives to help the disabled internationally, the arts and land conservation. According to federal courthouse in Miami (via VillageVoice), he also has had an incestuous relationship with his daughter, Linda, who is now suing him.

Over the years, as a high-flying financial player at places like Bear Stearns and then later managing your own hedge fund, you had not only amassed a fortune, but you had reproduced prodigiously, having six children by three different women, and then marrying a fourth. Then, in 1990, there was that great shock: You learned about Linda. Gorgeous, talented, eager-to-meet-you and all-grown-up Linda.

His daughter Linda tells the seduction story in a video by she was almost finished with a PhD in psychology when she visited her father’s Westchester County estate. Linda claimed that her father David Bruce McMahan told her he believed they’d been married in a previous life and her legs were a “very sexy version” of his own.

The pair reportedly purchased matching diIdos and exchanged an email:

“I unpacked the toys and checked them out. The thing excites me just looking at it. I promise you have never seen anything like it. Interestingly ‘it’ is actually smaller than I am! But what moves! I should have been so lucky. They are now packed into their own bag and I am going to make sure we have enough AA batteries to last for the duration.” (Source: Village Voice)

Later in 2004 Linda testified her father wanted to cut Sargent Schutt, her legal husband, out of the picture. Bruce McMahan then brought his daughter to Westminster Abbey to exchange vows. Bruce McMahan was married at that time to Elena, his fifth wife who suspected him of incestuous behavior. So Bruce McMahan asked her daughter to file a sworn statement denying the incest. Linda refuses and multiple lawsuits were exchanged.

VillageVoice continues that David Bruce McMahan tried to silence the media and engaged a PR firm to clean up his Wikipedia page and even changed his name.

With just days to go before our story was to be published, you wrote checks for millions of dollars to settle all of the lawsuits and get them sealed from public view as quickly as you could. (You also hired an L.A. public relations firm in an attempt to intimidate us, and even tried to haul us into court to have legal materials pulled down from the website, but we don’t scare easy, bub.)

The New York Post, God bless ’em, did put together a righteous write-up of its own, relying on our reporting, but then the Post had at least one reporter who knew all about you, and convinced editors there that you were every bit the scumbag our story made you out to be.

If the Times stayed silent, newspapers and magazines from Greece to Australia inundated us with requests for the Westminster Abbey photos and other documents.

(Looks like you’ve also changed your name, slightly. Born David Bruce McMahan, you went by D. Bruce McMahan until we wrote about you. Now you’re David B. McMahan, apparently.)

That couldn’t be more obvious seeing how much money you spent scrubbing Wikipedia. For months after our original story came out, you had your goons launch daily attacks at the website, using sock puppets and other methods to intimidate the online encyclopedia into removing any mention of what was in our stories. Today, there’s no page at all. As far as Wikipedia is concerned, you don’t even exist.

Continue reading “Rich man who has sex with daughter silences media”

Japan lost track of their old folks

Japan lost track of some 230,000 centenarians (over 100 years of age).

More than 230,000 Japanese centenarians ‘missing’

More than 230,000 elderly people in Japan who are listed as being aged 100 or over are unaccounted for, officials said following a nationwide inquiry.

Officials have found that hundreds of the missing would be at least 150 years old if still alive.

The inquiry followed the discovery of the mummified remains of Sogen Kato, who was thought to be the oldest man in Tokyo.

However, when officials went to congratulate him on his 111th birthday, they found his 30-year-old remains, raising concerns that the welfare system is being exploited by dishonest relatives.

Reports said he had received about 9.5m yen ($109,000; £70,000) in pension payments since his wife’s death six years ago, and some of the money had been withdrawn. (Source: BBC)