City Harvest: Closest sentence difference – 2 months (42 vs 40 months)?


I refer to the articles “City Harvest appeal: Reduced sentences draw mixed reactions online” and “City Harvest appeal verdict: Six church leaders get reduced jail terms, Kong Hee gets 3.5 years” (Straits Times, Apr 7).

The former states that “Within four hours of the verdict’s announcement, City Harvest became the second-ranked trending topic on Twitter in Singapore after Syria, and Kong Hee the fourth-ranked.”

The latter states that “Church founder Kong Hee. 52, who was  handed an eight-year jail term in November 2015, will spend 3½ years behind bars.

The reduced sentences are:


Tan Ye Peng: From 5½ years’ jail to three years and two months.

Chew: From six years to  three years and four months.

Wee: From five years to 2½ years.

Lam: From three years to 1½ years.

Sharon Tan: From 21 months to seven months.”

This works out to a sentence reduction of

54 months or 56.25 per cent (Kong)

28 months or 42.4 per cent (Tan Ye Peng)

32 months or 44.4 per cent (Chew)

30 months or 50 per cent (Wee)

18 months or 50 per cent (Lam)

14 months or 66.6 per cent (Sharon Tan)

So, the sentence reduction ranged from 54 months (Kong) to 14 months (Sharon Tan) and in percentage terms from 66.6 per cent (Sharon Tan) to 42.2 per ent.

The closest difference in sentencing was only two months between Kong’s 42 months and Chew’s 40 months.

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), invited to speak more than 200 times in over 30 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of Indonesia and Brunei. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.