Channel NewsAsia reports…
“City Harvest Church says it has taken steps to improve accountability in the megachurch, in the three years since the trial began. This statement was made to its congregation at the church’s first English service, since the courts found six Church Leaders guilty of misappropriating S$50.6 million worth of church funds.
The service saw Senior Pastor and church founder Kong Hee personally apologising to the congregation saying they have “suffered much over the past few years” because of their commitment to the church and him.
“I’m so sorry for all the pain and turmoil that you have had to endure under my leadership, under my watch,” said Kong. “You’ve had to answer questions and criticisms from families, friends, colleagues.”
Though Kong stopped short of apologising for his actions, the Church board said it has taken measures to improve management independence.
“As a board we want to assure everyone that we will not let this trial happen in vain,” said Mr Aries Zulkarnain, executive pastor at City Harvest Church. “Pastor Kong has shown us the blueprint of CHC 2.0.
“Over the past three years, the board has taken significant steps to improve our governance to fulfil the purpose and mission placed on this church in wiser and lawful ways. And we will continue to do so as we journey towards our future.
“The steps taken include the following:
- The renewal and rotation of board members to ensure independence is enhanced and maintained.
- Selection of well-diversified, experienced board members. A significant majority of board members are non-executive board members and independent.
- Appointment of a legal firm as legal advisor to the board.
- Setting up of an internal compliance team, and an annual outsourced internal audit function.”