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Old 23rd August 2013, 11:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Pastor Lawrence Khong sues polo club after suspension

Pastor Lawrence Khong sues polo club after suspension



Friday, August 23, 2013 - 07:56
Hedy Khoo
The New Paper


SINGAPORE - He's a pastor, owns horses and sometimes performs as a magician.

But Mr Lawrence Khong, 61, has yet to conjure up the skills to make controversies disappear.

On Tuesday, it emerged that the 10,000-strong Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC), of which Mr Khong is the senior pastor, had to compensate a former staffer after sacking her when she was found pregnant with the child of another church employee.

Earlier this year Mr Khong campaigned against a gay couple's attempt at a constitutional challenge to S377A of the Penal Code.

Now, The New Paper has learnt that Mr Khong, a former national polo player, was recently suspended by the Singapore Polo Club (SPC) where he is the honorary secretary.

Following his suspension from the SPC, Mr Khong filed a suit against the SPC. Legal papers filed in the High Court revealed another club member had also filed a suit against the SPC.

Mr Khong, who is also the chairman of the board of directors of Touch Community Services, had his rights and privileges as a member of the SPC suspended for two months with effect from Aug 7.

He is represented by his lawyers, Mr Daniel Goh and Mr Adrian Wee of Characterist LLC. The Singapore Polo Club has 1,600 members.

Mr Khong, an SPC member since the early 1990s, was elected the club's honorary secretary in March. SPC general manager, Mr Alan Jones, told TNP the matter was being handled internally. He declined further comment.

The pastor owns four ponies which are stabled at the SPC. In a copy of the suspension notice included in Mr Khong's affidavit, it was stated that during the period of suspension, Mr Khong will be allowed to keep his horses stabled at the club.

But Mr Khong will not have the right of access to the club nor the right to the services of a personal professional polo player.

Mr Khong has had a long relationship with the SPC. He served on the club's committee for five years in the 1990s as vice-president, honorary secretary, polo captain and a riding convenor.

He had also helped Singapore win a silver medal in polo in the 2007 SEA Games in Bangkok.

In his affidavit, Mr Khong said he is one of the charter playing polo members of the club, which is the only place to play polo in Singapore.

The SPC suspension is the latest controversy to hit the pastor.

Compensation

The Straits Times reported on Tuesday that the Government ordered FCBC to compensate a church worker who was fired last September when found pregnant because of her alleged adulterous relationship.

While the church has agreed to compensate the woman, Mr Khong said it will not concede that the dismissal was unjust.

He said doing so would mean condoning adultery and it would weaken the church's moral and spiritual authority.

Mr Khong founded the FCBC in 1986 and set up Touch Community Services for the needy in 1992.

He made the news in January when he read out a prepared statement, expressing concern about homosexuality, to Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong during a walkabout in Marine Parade.

As the chairman of LoveSingapore, an informal network of about 100 churches, Mr Khong requested a dialogue with Law Minister K. Shanmugam, and met him in February to discuss views on the gay community.

Mr Khong is also a well-known magician and the chief executive officer of production company Gateway Entertainment, which he started in 2000.

He is also the first person in Asia to receive the Elite Diamond Merlin Award in the Magician of the Year category from the International Magicians Society in 2010.

Other member suspended

THE other member suspended by the Singapore Polo Club (SPC) is Dr Ali Namazie, a theoretical physicist by profession.

He had been elected in March as polo captain of the SPC.

He filed an originating summons against the SPC at the High Court on Friday.

The New Paper understands that Dr Namazie, who has been an SPC member for 15 years, was suspended by the club around June this year.

The duration of his suspension is 1½ years.

Dr Namazie was the honorary secretary as well as the grounds and facilities convenor of the club two years ago.

Source: http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapo...ter-suspension

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Old 23rd August 2013, 11:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Pastor Lawrence Khong sues polo club after suspension

hmm... how come no explanation on why the suspension came about??

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Old 23rd August 2013, 12:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Pastor Lawrence Khong sues polo club after suspension

"He's a pastor, owns horses and sometimes performs as a magician.

But Mr Lawrence Khong, 61, has yet to conjure up the skills to make controversies disappear."

I laughed more than I should have at those 2 lines.

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Old 23rd August 2013, 09:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Pastor Lawrence Khong sues polo club after suspension

Originally Posted by InfinityFrost View Post
"He's a pastor, owns horses and sometimes performs as a magician.

But Mr Lawrence Khong, 61, has yet to conjure up the skills to make controversies disappear."

I laughed more than I should have at those 2 lines.
Maybe he can learn Kong Hee, and ask God to help.

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Old 29th December 2013, 07:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Pastor gets Polo Club suspension overturned

Pastor gets Polo Club suspension overturned


Pastor Lawrence Khong, a former national polo player, has been a member of the Singapore Polo Club for more than 20 years.

Sunday, December 29, 2013 - 06:30
Selina Lum
The Straits Times


SINGAPORE - Pastor Lawrence Khong, a former national polo player, yesterday won the fight to quash his two-month suspension by the Singapore Polo Club.

The suspension came after he sent an e-mail message to all the club members and the Registry of Societies in April questioning the conduct of the club's current committee in amending the results of a no-confidence vote against the previous year's leadership.

After the e-mail, disciplinary proceedings were launched against Mr Khong, the club's honorary secretary.

At the disciplinary hearing, he made the point that the five-member tribunal deciding his fate was in a position of conflict of interest, as they were members of both last year's and this year's committee.

In August, he was notified of his suspension for misusing the club's e-mail system and his position as honorary secretary.

Mr Khong, represented by Mr Daniel Goh and Mr Adrian Wee, filed a High Court application to set aside the suspension, arguing that the tribunal was tainted by the appearance of bias.

Yesterday, at the end of a closed-door hearing, Judicial Commissioner Tan Siong Thye set aside the suspension and ruled that Mr Khong was entitled to claim damages, which will be assessed at a later date.

Mr Khong was effectively suspended for six weeks before he got an interim court order to suspend it.

The founder of the Faith Community Baptist Church, which has a congregation of more than 10,000 members, was heartened by the court's decision.

"It has been my belief from the start that the proceedings against me were conducted unfairly. I have sought at all times to act in the club's best interests," he said.

Mr Khong, a club member for more than 20 years, added that he was prepared to waive his claim for damages, if the club and its committee also agree to let the matter rest.

Club president Iqbal Jumabhoy said the committee will carefully consider the decision and discuss its implications with the club's lawyers before deciding on whether to make an appeal.

The club is the only place in Singapore where polo can be played.

Certain members, based on criteria such as contributions to the club or polo- playing experience, may be appointed as charter polo-playing members.

Such members hold 10 votes each, while other members hold one vote each.

The saga arose out of a decision by the 2012 committee to reject an application by the club's former resident polo professional for charter membership.

In the build-up to this year's annual general meeting in March, a number of members tabled a motion of no confidence against last year's committee for the rejection.

At the AGM, the motion was passed and the results were audited and published. But a couple of days later, the votes were recounted on a one member, one vote basis. With this tallying method, the motion was not passed.

Mr Khong, believing that the way in which the results were changed was improper, tried to seek legal advice but was reprimanded by the committee.

That was when he issued the mass e-mail expressing his concerns.

http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapo...ion-overturned

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