Sunday, 19 October 2014

A Hearing on Sept 11

During the September holiday, and incidentally, a September 11, I went to the State Court for a City Harvest Church Trial hearing.

I have 'liked' the Facebook page of CHC Confessions and read that anyone could attend the hearing. And some of them posted what the court, but not the mainstream papers, revealed on the page. I thought it could be good to be there in person and experience for myself if it was true that Pastor Kong and the other 5 accused were as what the Facebookers made them out to be.

It was the school holiday. I woke up bright and early and left the house at 9am.

It was the first time I attended a court hearing as a bystander. I walked through the scanning device at the court entrance and got in Court 1 at 10am. 

Outside Court 1, I saw Suraj, the long-time follower and trusted man of Pastor Kong, and another petite, bespectacled man who stared at me as I made my way to the Court.

As I walked into Court 1, a female Indian security guard asked me for a court ticket. I said I didn't have one. I had read on the papers that the court would open the seats to members of the public if they were not taken up by 10am, so I thought I didn't need a ticket.

She directed me to the security guard counter to get a ticket before admitting me into Court 1 again.

The 5 accused were sitting in a separate section from the members of the public, a row or two behind the lawyers and their assistants. 

Pastor Kong was in the witness stand, giving his testimony and answering questions posted by his lawyer, Edwin Tong.

While I could hear Pastor Kong clearly, as he was side-facing us, I had problems hearing Edwin Tong who was back-facing us. His voice was soft and somewhat muffled.

I was terrible at trying to comprehend what was going on.

I had imagined that Edwin Tong, being Pastor Kong's lawyer, would seek to defend Pastor Kong aggressively and show evidence to discredit the Prosecutors' claim of Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) upon the 6 accused, but all he did was to refer to the different figures on the minutes and statements and asked Pastor Kong what they were for. Most of the time, Pastor Kong replied that they were donations to the construction of Chinese schools in China.

Then Pastor Kong spoke.

He maintained that as a senior pastor, he had some level of influence over the church, the Crossover Project and the Xtron directors, but he did not have total control over the church or the Xtron directors.

To the collaboration with Wyclef Jean, he had this to say,"I love my wife, and I love the vision that God has given to our church, but I cannot agree to a proposition, in good conscience, that will cause CHC to be in a precarious financial situation, to lose money."

In explaining why the church did not continue to work with Wyclef, he maintained that,"Although the prospect of collaborating with Wyclef was tempting, I could not agree to the budget." Besides the upfront payment of USD30mil, Wyclef and Justin Hertz were asking for a 50-50 profit split. He felt that the request was 'beyond reasonableness'.

Halfway through the hearing, my fifth sister whatsapped me to task me with the mission of collecting my father's lab test report from the cardiologist's clinic, so I had to leave after the morning session of the court hearing ended.

Subsequently, I read from the Chinese evening papers that Pastor Kong teared in mentioning how the adults and children in his son's school had taunted his son by asking,"Has your dad gone to jail yet?"

The poor child is probably in P3 this year and he has to suffer the stress even adults can't handle.

I saw a humbled, and somewhat resigned, Pastor Kong that day, but I maintain that he loves his wife the way he did when he first married her, if not more. I don't know of any other man who dares to proclaim his love for his wife in a court, especially when the case has nothing to do with his marriage.

Based on what I saw and heard that day, I feel that Pastor Kong already know what is to come.

The Feedback to Ta-Q Bin that Never Got Sent

I had bought some party favours from a forummer in preparation for Baby's 6th birthday party celebration at school.

Unfortunately, my purchase exceeded 2kg and the forummer had arranged for courier service to deliver the parcel to my doorstep.

I said 'unfortunately' because I absolutely hate to deal with registered mail or courier companies.

Besides DHL who had arrived on time, I haven't come across a decent courier company who doesn't frustrate me. I work, and the range of time the courier company say would deliver the parcels is often very wide, like a 3 to 5 hours stretch. Sometimes they arrive early, and leave before the stipulated delivery time; at other times, they arrive late, and leave - whether anyone is in the house. And the one that really riles me up is the kind that presses the faulty doorbell that does not ring and leaves when no one responds, without even lifting their gold-plated knuckle to knock on my door!

So, I had yet another frustrating experience with Ta-Q Bin last week.

I had read of the fantastic luggage delivery service by Ta-Q Bin in Japan when a mother-blogger went to Tokyo and Niko so the least I had expected of Ta-Q Bin was on-time delivery.

It was meant to reach me on a Friday between 12pm to 5pm. See what I mean by wide time range?

I stayed home just to wait for the darn delivery. And the courier man never turned up.

It turned out that the delivery reached my place at 9.30pm but the man never did the delivery!

And we were all home by then!

So, I went onto Ta-Q Bin's website and penned a feedback. Interestingly, it could not be sent.

The message:

String or binary data would be truncated. The statement has been terminated.

kept appearing.

So, my feedback to Ta-Q Bin is posted here:

The parcel was supposed to reach me between 12pm and 5pm on 10 October. We spent the whole Friday waiting for the parcel that never came. My husband was home since 6.30pm and never once was the delivery made.

The next day, I noted that the parcel's status was 'delivering', so we waited again from 12pm, thinking that you would keep to the requested timing. At the same time, I tried calling in to check what time the parcel would come in. Disappointingly, I could never get through your line. If I ever did, I was put on hold for ever.

When I finally got through at 4.30pm, I was told the driver might reach my place before 8pm, but he would try to get to me 'as soon as possible'. So we waited again. We waited our Friday and Saturday away just like that. I called again at 7pm. Apparently, the driver did not try to get to my place 'as soon as possible'. I had tried to be a very patient customer but making customers wait for more than 10 hours is unacceptable.

You are not the first courier company I have worked with but you are definitely the most irresponsible courier company I have ever come across. I will try my best not to work with anyone who uses your service again.

It was stressful waiting for Ta-Q Bin. You don't know if the driver would go away without delivering your parcel again.

When I called at 7pm, I shouted at the lady over the phone asking,"Are you delivering my parcel or not?!!"

The parcel finally made its grand entrance at 7.30pm.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Discharged, Finally!

My father was admitted to the hospital on a Monday, the day right after my last post.

The operation was a success. My father would be able to consume food through his mouth within 10 days.

However, I was starting to worry that I might not have enough money in the bank for the stay when the doctor continued to keep my father in the hospital after 8 days.

As if in an answer to my prayer, I was having lunch when the hospital called and informed me that my father could go home yesterday.

I was thrilled.

So at 4.30pm, I was there to pick my father up. And I prayed repeatedly for a bill well within my means.

I was grateful that the bill really was within the doctor's estimation.

Today, my father had threadfin porridge, and he managed to down the fish too. It was an achievement as he could not even swallow a teochew porridge rice grain a day before, the first time he ate solid food since 3 months ago!

Saved for the pain from the huge, fresh cut on his stomach, my father is happy that he is returning to normality and will be able to enjoy food the way he used to.

Months of anguish and pain. I hope they are things of the past, real soon.