Saturday, June 26, 2010

Calvary Church Appeals For Advances

In a desperate attempt to seek funds to restart the abandoned Calvary Convention Centre (CCC), Senior Pastor Prince Guneratnam (PG) once again is turning to the members for advances. This appeal for advances is said to be planned for the Combined Worship Services to be held on Sunday, 4 July 2010 at the Sime Darby Convention Centre, Bukit Kiara.

Although this members’ loan scheme has not been announced to the congregation, the Life Group (LG) leaders have been briefed and they have been instructed to prepare their LG members to give advances to the CCC project. Below is extracted from the Instruction Sheet given to all LG leaders:

For LG Leaders to help prepare LG members
FAQ - Advance to CCC
"Glorify God...Finish His Work!" John 17:4
Give an Advance investment for His Kingdom!

1. Do we have Finance Ministry's approval?
Yes we do. We thank God that the Hon. Minister of Finance,
Malaysia in accordance with powers conferred by subsection
118 {1) of the Banking and Finance Institutions Act 1989
("BAFIA") has made an Exemption Order which enables
Calvary Church Kuala Lumpur to receive, take or accept Short Term
Advances from members of Calvary Church, for the purpose of
completing Phase 1 of the Calvary Convention Center (CCC) in
Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.

2. So, what if a non-member or a Calvarite who has applied for
membership wants to give?
They can give a contribution (gift) now. And when they become
members in time to come, they can also make an Advance.
Bear in mind that all who desire to give is significant to God.

3. What is an advance?
Giving of interest-free Short Term Advances that would be
repaid within five years after the completion of Phase 1 of CCC.

4. Who can give Advance?
All church members - Voting members, Associate Members,
Junior Members & Inactive Members.

5. Why Advance?
This being one of the main ways of funding for the
CCC would minimize interest charges that may be incurred from obtaining
bank loans. Such savings can be redeployed for other programs
to further the Kingdom of God.

6. Is there a minimum or maximum amount?
No. All amount is acceptable.

7. What is our target?
At least 35 million Ringgit

8. How long is the Advance ?
Members can receive repayment beginning 2012 up till 2015.

There are a few points to note from the above explanations given.

A. It is good to see that the Board of Deacons (BOD) are now complying with the law relating to deposit-taking, which is what such advances are deemed as under BAFIA. The previous program of taking advances from members several years ago flouted the law as it was carried out without approval from Bank Negara.

However, we hope that our BOD had not made any misrepresentation in order to obtain this special approval. It would seem hard to imagine that Bank Negara would approve such taking of advances from members while fully aware that Calvary Church is not an incorporated entity under any Act and cannot be sued as proclaimed by lawyer, KK Wong at our August 2008 EGM.

Allowing the public to be exposed to the risk of losing their money is something Bank Negara will not do, so we hope that they have not been misled in any way. Remember, misrepresentation is PG’s forte (How he misrepresented CIM to NECF). Perhaps, one of the members can check out this approval with Bank Negara.

B. This Advance is taken only from members of the Church and not others. That is why they are emphasizing that those who have applied for membership can give the advances only when they are admitted into membership. You can expect to see the relaxation of requirements for membership especially to the Associate category. In this category they can have your money but you cannot vote or question them at all. It is not clear if the "contribution / gift" given by non-members and those with membership pending approval, will be "converted" automatically to Advances once they become members later.

C. It is interesting to note that even Inactive members are being encouraged to give advances to the church. While these members are NOT allowed to attend AGMs and EGMs, have no voting rights and absolutely have no say in anything, they are encouraged to give advances for the CCC. Most of the Inactive members are part of the 400 members who were stripped of their voting rights not too long ago and now PG has the cheek to ask these very same members to give!

D. Under question 3, the church has defined an Advance as “Giving of interest-free Short Term Advances that would be repaid within five years after the completion of Phase 1 of CCC”. This statement appears to contradict the answer to question 8 where the church says “Members can receive repayment beginning 2012 up till 2015”.

D1. It is not clear when exactly will be the completion date of Phase 1. It also does not spell out what Phase 1 encompasses? Is it the main sanctuary alone or the main sanctuary with the rest of the building in a state of “shell and core”? The danger is that when the church is unable to repay the members when demanded, they can very well respond that Phase 1 is still not completed.

D2. If indeed the members will be repaid “beginning 2012 till 2015”, is the BOD proclaiming that the CCC Phase 1 is now deemed completed, going by the five year tenure mentioned under question 3? (2010 till 2015 = 5 years)

D3. Assuming this is a mathematical error and assuming 2012 is the expected completion date of Phase 1, then 5 years after would be 2017. So technically, members can only be repaid from 2012 to 2017 and not “beginning 2012 till 2015”.

D4. It is also not clear if the members’ advances will be repaid at one go or spread over 5 years. All this confusion and ambiguity are the hallmark of PG and the BOD.

E. All these questions aside, the most important matter to consider is whether the church will be in a position to repay the members’ advances. The obvious answer is no.

E1. If you look into the 2009 Annual report, you will see that to complete Phase 1 (assuming this is the main sanctuary and the rest of the building being shell and core), it will require RM110 million.

E2. The church has estimated cash balance of RM26 million as at 31 December 2009. If they manage to achieve an overall surplus (including building fund) of RM8 million for this year (similar to 2009 which is very unlikely) and a surplus of RM6 million for 2011 (discounted due to dwindling congregation), they will have a total cash balance of RM40 million.

E3. If it successfully receives advances of RM35 million from the members now, the total of RM75 million is insufficient to complete Phase 1. They will need to take a bank loan of RM35 million to complete Phase 1 and this is assuming there are no additional cost as a result of the current stoppage.

E4. For 2009, the offering and tithes collection of RM7.3 million against an overhead expenditure of RM5.3 million resulted in a surplus of only RM2 million (excluding building fund). If this RM2 million yearly surplus is maintained (which is very unlikely), it will take them 30 years to repay the bank with interest calculated at only 5% per annum.

In this scenario, we have assumed that the church will continue to canvass for building fund pledges which obviously will be used foremost to complete Phase 2 with some funds kept aside to maintain the CCC. We estimate that maintenance of CCC will cost about RM4 million per year (using building wear and tear depreciation over 50 years). It will certainly require nothing less of a miracle to be able to repay the members’ advances by 2015 (Ans 8) as promised.

F. If for the above reason or for whatever other reasons your advances cannot be repaid by the church, from whom can you recover the money later on? Of course PG and the deacons have every intention to repay you but sometimes things just do not work out. Even with the best of intentions, there may simply be no money to repay you as shown above. Then what recourse do you have? You cannot sue Calvary Church because it is not a legal body.

You may be able to sue PG and the BOD because they enticed you to give the advances. (Please remember the person doing the presentation on 4 July. He will be the one you would sue first.) They may then use 1Corinthians 6 on you and tell you that you cannot sue another Christian especially if he is your senior pastor and your deacons. You could find yourself in quite a dilemma.

G. If possible, those intending to make advances should attempt to get a written "guarantee" from PG and the Deacons in their personal capacity. This will be of great use if you need to institute any legal suit later on to recover your money. This will also be helpful in the event of your demise, so that your loved ones will be able to claim back your advances with less hassle.

Below are some Basic Questions you need to ask:

1. With the granting of this advance, what will be achieved?

2. Would this funding be enough to complete the whole project?

3. If not, then what stage of the project is to be completed that would be considered as Phase 1? Otherwise they will come back later for more advances.

4. If this RM35 million advances is not enough to finish Phase 1, how much more would be needed?

5. Where are the sources for the additional financing?

6. How much cash does the church already have now?

7. Is this advance scheme meant to replace the standby line of RM35 million from Alliance Bank?

8. What assurance can the members get that their advances will be repaid?

9. How and when would the members’ advances be repaid exactly?

10. How and where are the cash flows to ensure timely repayment of the members’ advances?

11. Is there an alternative source of funding for the members’ advances to be repaid? Any assets that are not charged to the Bank that can be sold?

12. Are they hoping to later persuade or manipulate members to convert the loans into gifts?

13. Who are the members lending to?

a. Is it to Calvary Church which is not a legal entity which cannot be sued?

b. Is it to the AOG Malaysia who is in charge of CC?

c. Is it to PG and the deacons?

14. If the church fails to repay the members’ advances, from whom can the members seek redress?

15. Can PG and/or the Deacons provide any personal guarantee?

16. The CCC project has been badly managed by PG and the Deacons. Are they appointing a professional manager to oversee the project?

17. If not, what assurance are there that the project will not be abandoned mid-way again?

18. Can we still trust them enough to lend them money for this multi-million ringgit project?

19. Are there any outstanding commitments and liabilities owing to Nam Fatt or any other sub-contractor or supplier? If so, how much?

20.. Are there any outstanding commitments and liabilities owing to the architect and the consultants? If so, how much?

21. Can any one of these creditors foreclose on the project or stop the project?

22. Are there any legal suits by any of the persons associated with the project which may arise from the current stoppage?

23. What is the current project cost projection? With the additional RM36 million the construction cost would jump to RM186 million. Is this only Phase 1?

24. If Phase 1 will cost RM186 million, how much will be required to complete Phase 2?

25. What works are classified as Phase 2?

26. Have they appointed a new contractor for the project? Who is the new contractor and has adequate due diligence been done on them?

Some Do’s and Don’t's

1. Do ask PG or the Deacons for answers to the above questions. They must provide satisfactory answers to the above questions. Otherwise you would be going just on so-called faith. We all went on faith for the last few years. Look where it has taken us. Was it real faith in God or manufactured faith engineered by man? We must have faith in God and not man, no matter how clever they can talk. No matter how much we respect them.

2. Do pray and seek God for wisdom in this whole matter. He has given us a mental faculty to think and make wise decisions. On top of it, He has promised that if anyone lacks wisdom, he/she just need to ask and He will grant us wisdom.

3. Do discuss with your spouse before you commit to giving any advance because he/she should have a say in financial matters that affect your family welfare.

4. Do consider all your financial commitments in respect of your house, your family and your children’s education before you give any advance to the church. Remember that in terms of priority, after God, your family comes first before the church. So be wise in your stewardship of God’s monetary blessing on your life.

5. Don’t give any advance if you do not have any surplus funds. If you give any advance, you must be prepared to lose it. If you cannot afford to lose it, don’t give the advance.

6. Don’t borrow or take a loan in order to be able to give an advance to the church. This will be foolish. God will never ask us to give beyond what we can afford or what we have. He certainly do not want us to become burdened with debts. In fact, the Bible discourages us from borrowing although it does not prohibit borrowing.

7. Don’t withdraw or use your EPF money to give an advance to the church. Unless you have plenty to live on for the rest of your life, keep your EPF for your retirement use.

8. Don’t sell your properties and give unless, of course, God specifically ask you to do so.

9. Don’t be lured or persuaded by prosperity gospel. If God blesses you financially, it is because of His faithfulness, mercy and grace and not because you deserve it or because you give or advance some money to the church. Never give with the motive of expecting more blessings from God.

Finally, you will have to settle this in your heart and spirit. Do you truly believe without the slightest of doubt that the CCC as have been presented by PG and the BOD is God’s vision? If you believe so, then support it. If not, then use the money that God has put in your hands to bless the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked and minister to millions of lost and dying souls out there. This is the real heartbeat of God.

"Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;" Psalm 127:1

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When Christians March

This is a second article written by a long standing Calvary Church Member who is working in the construction industry.

Not too long ago, a mainline newspaper columnist who is also a professor in the faculty of law of a local university, captioned his article ‘When Lawyers March’. It was after a tumultuous march by some lawyers over their concern on some draconian legislature, which they believed are not only unfair for the general populace, but meant to muzzle them into submission. The gist of his article was that when lawyers take to the street, something is seriously wrong with the legal system in the country. After all, it is not your normal cup of teh tarik, that those much learned men and women in black take to the street. So, in the same context, what is the significance when Christians or more specifically, Calvarites march?

Christians are not known for their aggressiveness but rather for their submissiveness. They are not power crazy like some politicians, usually turning the other cheek when faced with a not too pleasant situation. So it was quite a surprise when a group of Calvarites gathered one Saturday morning in April 2010 and marched to the church office in Damansara Perdana to hand over a Memorandum to PG, who, much earlier had been given notice to be present to receive the Memorandum.

The whole saga had started innocuously enough , but much water have flowed under the bridge, culminating to the point where the group of Calvarites decided to resort to such drastic and loud action. Most of those events have been documented in the blog, where if one is curious enough, would be able to get a good grasp of the whole and comprehensive episode gripping the church.

Some time ago, I have written an article on the Calvary Convention Centre, titled, ‘Abraham was looking forward to a city…..’ The article was to dispel a number of half-truths (to put in midly) as well as to awaken the people so as not to be led by the nose by a so-called ‘vision from God’. After that, I have no intention of writing anymore as I realised that, up to this point, if those people who still have not awaken, would not be moved by whatsoever, tsunami notwithstanding. However, recently, there is a great vexation in my spirit, as I continue to see and hear more and more lies, deceptions, half-truths and what-nots being churned out by PG and his trusted cohorts.

Before I go further, let me say this to the glory of God that I thank God for the more than 30 years in the building industry, so I know what I am talking about, on CCC. I have also ‘paid’ my share for the building of a 5,000 seating capacity church (not a signature building and definitely not a extravagant and flamboyant project to show off), so as to silence the critics that I belong to the so-called "Sanballat, Tobiah and others" gang.

When SK (had to) make an official announcement on the CCC, it was akin to telling everyone the world is round. I believe it was the worst kept secret (but still in a make-believe atmosphere) that work had already stopped; it had stopped some 6 months back. Here again, as I have mentioned in the previous article, he still has to inject some feel-good feelings in the announcement, hence, he announced that the completion would be delayed till November 2010. This is to give the impression that the church still has control over the whole grandiose project, still calling the shots (read bluff). Not even the slightest inkling that the project might be in trouble must be revealed, or else the vision that was told to everyone that it was from God might be in jeopardy and worse, money would not come in.

When a main contractor underperformed, or worse, doesn’t perform, it spells big trouble, especially so with the kind of contract drawn up between CC and NF, where NF was given an advance of RM 8 million and with a corporate guarantee as performance bond, it’s double whammy, to say the least. There is no recourse I can think of, and I am not sure whether NF has paid back the advance at the time of the stoppage.

Recent events including the announcement during the prayer meeting, where members were ‘seemingly given 3 choices, but actually have no other choice than to fork out more money to rescue the vision.

They were also told of the imminent award to the friendly party contractor, subject to an endorsement by the members in an AGM, but were curtailed by the court injunction granted to the 7 plaintifs. To make it more interesting, they were even told that the validity of the quotation was expiring soon, as if like they would miss the boat of getting a big bargain if it is not awarded soon.

The following are my questions (for both packages, NF as well as the prospective contractor), hopefully, someone would be able to enlighten me:

1) Was there a pre-tender qualification exercise?

2) Was there an opened and closed tender?

3) Was there a tender report?

4) Was the recommendations by the consultants taken into consideration?

5) Was there a tender at all, or was it a negotiated deal? Was told by one original tenderer that they were approached to take over when NF defaulted, but there was no follow-up after that. If it was negotiated, who made the final decisions, was the decision above board?

6) How much money was paid to NF :

a. for work done,
b. for materials on site,
c. for work done off-site, but not installed?

NF would still have to be paid, or at least have the final account settled, for them to issue a letter of release for the new kid on the block to take over. If at all the determination of the contract is acrimonious, it could take years to settle the mess, a good example is the Plaza Rakyat project, that went into dispute and had been stalled for almost 20 years. Therefore for SK to announce that the completion would be delayed by a year at that time was preposterous to say the least.

7) What was the percentage :

a. of work done,
b. of the work that can be salvaged,
c. of the balance in terms of the financial curve in the master programme of NF?

8) How much more are we paying for the balance of the work; in terms of preliminaries, warranties and taking the risks for works executed by NF, rectification of defects by NF, wastages, etc. to the new contractor, as definitely , there would be a premium in the pricing to cover the cost of all those uncertainties – compared with (7 c) of the above?

9) Any deviations from the approved plans?:

a. we were only shown the perspective, but I reckon there would be numerous changes (due to ‘value-engineering with no compromise in design and quality, so claimed ex-deacon, homelife leader, CCC sterling committee chairman, engineer, brother or just recently, Dato HJK, or would he add on and enhance the trimmings since he, using the name of God also asked ‘Am I not worth more than these?’)

b. Is the whole project being implemented or just the convention centre, leaving the rest, shell and core?; which would give rise to a host of other problems, such as expiry of the defects liability period for those shell and core buildings (no defects detected as these are not in use and with the expiry, the contractor is not liable to rectify), double or triple handling, re-excavation, coring or hacking the structure for M&E fixtures such as cabling, sanitary, plumbing, etc. (subsequent works by other sub-contractors would nullify the warranties and the liability for the defects for works executed by the main contractor- we lose out again). Issues with authorities, in resubmitting plans to depict future extensions or phases, payment of plan fees, deposits, contributions, etc.

10) Why the need for the members to endorse the award, especially since the leadership had never feel the need to get the members’ consent ever, since those who opposed have been dumped and those who remain are docile; is it also to cover the previous mistakes pertaining to NF? This is most dangerous, as the leadership, with one stroke, would wipe their slates clean –give your money and don’t question later as you have endorsed the project, both present and previous. Members are now asked to ratify their past decision (after thought exercise) thereby taking all responsibilities for the failure of the project because the members approved it at an AGM. Thank God this has not happened yet.

11) There is no impending rise in the price of steel, cement or other building materials, the Government had just abolished the need for a license to deal in steel and cement. In fact, the market is still very soft. The validity of the quotations can easily be extended by another 3 or 6 months; in fact, I have extended a tender for a project by more than a year. A letter of intent could also be given to lock in the prospective contractor or actual award could be given, without confirming on the date for possession of site; in other words, the contractor would commence later with the duration of his master programme commencing on the day he was given the site.

All these options could be exercised, instead of pushing the blame to the 7 plaintiffs, who by the way have obtained the injunction to stop an unjust AGM being convened. If at all, endorsement is required from the members, it would be an EGM instead of an AGM. So what is all this about not being able to get the members’ endorsement because of the injunction, is it not merely finding a scapegoat for a face-saving measure for the announcement by SK as well as the announcement that the project would commence soon, but until now, had still to see the light of day?

12) With this ‘comedy of errors’, in terms of cost, choice of the much-heralded Freemason Architect– can still remember vividly the nonchalant manner he admitted the RM100 million mistake (it did not even border him, it was just sheer arrogance) and award to a non-performing contractor, the only persons laughing (all the way to the bank) are the consultants while Calvarites and the people at large are bled high and dry.

We have to seriously consider, is the vision from God or man?
Is God testing our faith by putting all these obstacles or is He telling us something else?

The amount of money going down the drain caused by the stoppage and resumption of works could be put to better use in reaching out to the poor and needy. Without doubt in the mind of PG and leaders are no matter what, CCC would be built, to silence those who questioned, just so to save face, but at what cost?

This is not only in monetary terms, but spiritual, emotional and mental, where so many lives have been affected, by the propaganda, the half-truths and deceits. In the meantime, PG and his cohorts are still milking those ‘loyal and faithful servants’ of PG as well as the unsuspecting public at large.

Order of the day is still, give, give and keep giving. Latest was that they would be embarking on another ‘advance ‘ from the members for an targeted amount of RM35 million, with the event to be held at SDCC, maybe to reach those in the higher strata of society, who might not want to go to church but whose wallets bulge with wads of banknotes.

They even trumpeted that they have got approval from Bank Negara for this exercise, meaning, if you read between the lines, the previous advance they requested from the members was without approval and if you are still reading between the lines, there exists a vacancy for someone for a cameo role, to lodge a report with BNM.

The Million dollar question here: Is this the amount needed to cover the difference between the original contract to NF and the new?

This article certainly is not a tsunami in the making, as mentioned earlier, even a tsunami would not awaken those who have cast their lots, (in stone as well) to be with PG and hold on to their misguided faith. In fact, if at all they read this article, they would dig in their heels and harden their hearts and deem this to be of the devil and his demons. All I hope with this article is some forthright answers to the above-mentioned questions or to those of you who have been enlightened, would you like to march?

Yes, would you march once more, to submit another Memorandum to PG, seeking answers to all these pertinent questions and not be satisfied or being muzzled into accepting answers such as ‘you give and don’t ask’ and “you just endorse and don’t ask questions”?

When Christians march, they are standing up to be counted, being not satisfied with ‘legally right but morally wrong / legally right but procedural wrong answers’ or being told that these are personal questions or questions to be addressed at another platform ( a phrase much used by PG to wriggle or scurry away, actions most appropriate of him), which by the way will never be forthcoming.

Christians march to put a stop to the rot and decadence that have not only crept in, but being established in the church, to the extent that nothing is taboo anymore, where minutes can be falsified, dubious decisions ratified retrospectively, funds for and from Missions work diverted to PG’s personal ministry, maneuvering in place a team of lackeys to serve in God’s name but are actually catering to PG’s whims and fancies, practice of nepotism and cronyism, arbitrarily removing discerning members who questioned and sacking an ex-deacon who dared to be a whistle blower.

Christians march to stand up for righteousness, justice, Truth, Transparency and Godly-governance as the God they serve demands such standards as these.

The clarion call had been sounded, Onward Christian Soldiers…….

Monday, June 21, 2010

CCC – PG’s Great Folly

What is happening with the Calvary Convention Center (CCC)? 
Why has the construction of the CCC stopped? 
How much have the Church really collected for this project?
How much have actually been spent so far?
Who is responsible for this?

Many Calvarites have asked these questions to PG, the senior pastor of the Church, to some associate pastors and to the BOD. Some members have also written letters to them seeking answers and clarification. The answer given by both PG and his wife to members is that it is the work of Satan through the TTG people and the legal action taken by them. The CCC committee and other church leaders are also mimicking this same reply to members.

On the 4 June 2010, at the Friday night Prayer Meeting, Dato’ JK Han, an ex-deacon, gave a short announcement  on the three options available to the Church on the Calvary Convention Center (CCC).

1.  The Church can abandon the project and lose everything.
2.  The Church can continue with the development at an additional cost of RM36 million to the previously announced RM150 million upping the total construction to RM186 million not including the land cost of RM35 million.
3.  The Church can build the project themselves. We have no idea what he meant by this.

Option 1 and 3 are clearly non-starters so the members were really being told indirectly that the project would now cost a total of at least RM221 million when completed. This is not inclusive of furniture, fittings and AV system.

From past practices the BOD was not seeking for approval from the members on that Friday night.  They just wanted to have the justification, in case they are queried, that they had already informed the members.  

Why not call for an EGM for this to be discussed and approved by the members?  
It is because making an announcement at a prayer meeting is far safer for the BOD than having an EGM.  Members cannot ask questions and there will be no minutes to record what was said at a Prayer Meeting.  

However, at an EGM the BOD is obliged to give a full report on the CCC and would have to answer questions from the members.  They really cannot face the members on this great big fiasco.  So they stick to their usual practice.  Give the members the barest of information and then just carry on, holding members responsible later because they were already informed and they stood in prayer signifying agreement and acceptance of the Church Leadership’s decision. 

To PG and BOD, the members are only required to provide the funding.  They are not to ask any questions.  They must submit to the spiritual authority of PG and the BOD without question. This is the subtle way, the church leaders have always used. At a time when members least expect it, announcements will be made and through non-disclosure of material facts, members are asked to make a quick judgement call which will nonetheless seemed to be approved by the members present then. 

When something goes wrong, they are quick to blame the members (as witnessed by the BOD's reply to questions concerning the CC Constitution at the last year's AGM. Members were reminded that they themselves approved the Constitution back in 1985 so now they have to stick by it) and in the case of CCC now, they put the blame on TTG and the legal action.

This fiasco was not caused by TTG’s action.  The TTG is only asking for truth, transparency and godly governance.  The issue of the CCC was not in any of the TTG’s Resolutions submitted for the past EGM or AGM.  It is also not part of the injunction granted by the High Court.  PG and the BOD cannot blame the TTG for this fiasco.  It is a folly completely of their own making.

Who is the real culprit? 
The project was doomed from the start because it was not God’s vision but PG’s personal glory seeking vision.  Look around the big churches in the Klang Valley.  When inspired by God all the projects went smoothly.  DUMC raised all the RM40+ million through one appeal.  SIB was fully paid for because the senior pastor left the entire project management and fund raising to others in the church.  The same goes for FGA.  PJEFC and GT were fully paid for within a very short time.  The obstacles faced by Metro Tabernacle were overcome through divine intervention.  If it is of God, it will be done and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

What do we know about the CCC now?
The CCC shall continue to be a burden on the Church and the members for many more years to come.  Here are some observations for you to think about.

1. When the land purchase was approved we were told that construction cost would be about RM50 million at the first meeting.  It then escalated to RM80 million at a leaders' meeting and then at RM150 million when finally presented to the members.  Like the frog we were slowly being boiled alive.

2. The design was done by a freemason. Many have seen visions of cobras and other snakes when looking at the design. To some the design resembles the coffin of the pharaoh.

3. Jim Guneratnam was appointed the project director without an ounce of construction or development experience. 

4. The main contractor Nam Fatt was in very poor financial condition at the time when they were appointed. 

5. Nam Fatt had to ask for an advance of RM8 million.  The BOD approved the advance without even looking at Nam Fatt’s audited accounts.

6. The performance bond was secured by a guarantee from Nam Fatt Berhad instead of the usual bank guarantee.  So there is no way for the church to recover anything for non-performance. 

7. The extravagance was not in keeping with principles of Christian stewardship.  For RM200 million it should be a 20,000 seating church not a 5,000 seater only.

8. Work was stopped in April 2009, more than a year ago.  The BOD only informed the members in October 2009 through a short announcement by Steven Kum again at a Friday prayer meeting.  This was only after the contract period ended on 14 October and the BOD had no choice.  Even at the June 2009 AGM the BOD was still bluffing the members and claiming that everything was alright with the project.

As stewards of God’s money, members must ask for an EGM to know what is really going on and hold PG and the BOD accountable for this multi million Ringgit fiasco.

Monday, June 7, 2010

An Open Letter to Pastors and Christian Leaders

To brothers and sisters from other churches, especially from AOG churches, please PRINT A COPY for your Pastors and Leaders to read.

This is an Open Letter addressed to Pastors and Christian Leaders. By now we believe the Calvary Church Crisis (CCC) is no longer confined to Calvary Church members and friends alone. It is now known all over Malaysia and abroad. While we have received many encouragements and support from the general Christian community, we also understand that there are many Pastors and Christian Leaders who does not agreed with the TTG people for using the public channel to seek justice for Calvary Church members. Our appeal to you is that you will read this Letter with an open mind and answer the questions  with all honesty as unto God.  

AFTER THAT, try to place yourself in our shoes as Ordinary Members in the Church, who have supported the Church with your TIME, your TALENTS and your FINANCES and to find your Pastors have abused your trust and have lied to you - WOULD YOU HAVE DONE THE SAME? 

If for the past two years you have run around looking for help from Pastors, Christian Leaders and even looked to the Christian Organizations in and out of the country to help but no one cared enough to do something - WHO ELSE CAN YOU GO TO?

If you are just an Ordinary Member who have been serving and supporting your Church and your Pastors since becoming a Christian, then together with other faithful Christian brothers and sisters many whom you did not know before, feel this strong passion in your heart to stand up for what is right - not just as a Christian but as a person in general living in a community - WOULD YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE SATANIC?

If all you are asking for is that Truth, Transparency and Good (Godly)  Governance is practiced in the Church - DO YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE PLANNING TO BECOME THE NEXT PASTOR? 


Dear Pastors and Christian Leaders in Malaysia,

What is happening in Calvary Church must grieve our Lord Jesus and you, as a pastor, must be deeply saddened too.  But before you throw bricks at the concerned members perhaps you should ask why and how this came about.  What is this really all about?  Some have condemned us for bringing Christianity into disrepute.  Are Christians to cover up our internal wrongdoings and sins or are we to deal with it openly, decisively and righteously?  The Catholic Church covered up the sexual abuses within their Church for more than 30 years.  Well, it is now fully exposed and the cover up made it all the more sordid.  Just as we would not judge all pastors by what we have experienced, we ask that pastors not judge us without knowing what we have gone through. 

This Open Letter is to set the record straight and to give pastors a better understanding of the situation in Calvary Church.  A complete chronology of events is beyond the scope of this letter.  However, such information is available either from the worldwide web or from any of the concerned members.  Then you can judge rightly and perhaps more fairly.  

We had not intended to make it public.  We had tried to keep it within the Kingdom of God.  But we discovered that all those who had advised us, to keep it within the Kingdom of God, were more interested to keep things under wraps than solving the underlying problems.  We found no help from the Christian leadership in this country.  The religious establishment is dominated by pastors.  From where can aggrieved members seek help?  Therefore we had to seek redress from the civil court.  When we were “sacked” from membership, we knew we could not hope to get help from any Christian organisation or Christian leader.  We had to make the protest ourselves.

Please allow us to ask you a few questions to put things in perspective.  Would you, as a pastor, do the following?

#1 - Set up a personal ministry, under yours and your family’s control, and then divert funds from missionary offerings into your personal ministry without the knowledge of the members?

#2 - Make a collection from the congregation for an overseas disaster relief and then not send it to the victims but divert the collection into your own personal ministry?

#3 - Misrepresent the nature of your personal ministry to gain membership in NECF?

#4 - Remove key ministries which are integral to the wholeness of the Church from out of the Church ownership, calling them independent, and placing them under the control of your children and their spouses?

#5 - Place your children and their spouses in high positions in these “independent” ministries and remove their job evaluations, salaries and other terms of employment from the purview of the Board of Deacons?

#6 - Remove whole families from the Church membership roll if one of them is deemed to be against you in any way?

#7 - Remove members from serving, some from leadership positions, because they voted for a resolution which you did not favour?

#8 - Require that all other pastors in the Church declare love gifts received and exempt yourself and your wife and children from this requirement?

#9 - Allow yourself and your family special privileges not available to other pastors in the Church?

#10 - Ensure that all copies of the Minutes of the Board of Deacons’ meetings are destroyed except for the copy under your sole custody?

#11- Devise a structure that you would have veto power over all decisions made by the Board of Deacons, Committees and Sub-committees in the Church?

#12 - Devise a process whereby on the surface there is free and fair elections of deacons whereas in effect you control the entire process ensuring that the Board of Deacons is completely under your control?

If you would not, then you can empathise with us on what we are facing.  The main and real issue is about absolute power in one man’s hands and the lack of check and balance in the Church.  Transparency and Good Governance must be practised in our Church.  

If there is no Accountability and Transparency in our Church, then we have no right to ask for the same from the government or the world.  For we would have lost our moral authority to impact the world and to be its transforming agent, and we ought to be cast out and stamped underfoot like salt that has lost its saltiness.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What Some Pastors Say...

“They should not have taken the case to court.
They have not exhausted all avenues!!!”

It has come to our attention that some AOG pastors are saying that the TTG is wrong in going to the Court as they have not exhausted all avenues available to them. The “available avenue” that these pastors said the TTG should have taken was to have requisitioned for an EGM and then put in the Resolutions for the members to vote on. As the TTG did not do this “necessary available” step, they felt that it was wrong for the TTG to go to court.

There could only be several reasons why these pastors said what they said. One reason could be that they have not read or chosen not to read this blog and therefore, are still totally ignorant of what has taken place in Calvary Church (CC) or all the actions which the TTG group has taken to resolve the issues amicably. Another reason could be that they are just mimicking the justification response of the AOG Executive Committee (Exco) members since it has now been highlighted that the CC Constitution DOES NOT comply with the AOG Constitution.

Calvary Church’s existence is derived from the Trustees (Incorporation) Ordinance 1952 under which the AOG Malaysia was set up. In other words, Calvary Church exists under the umbrella of the AOG Malaysia. Calvary Church is technically a sub-trustee of AOG Malaysia. Any offence of breach of trust within Calvary Church or by its leaders, if charged by the authorities, may have serious material impact on the continued existence of AOG itself.

Since it is now obvious that the CC constitution is not in compliance, besides been seriously flawed, to the requirements as spelt out in the AOG Constitution, the present Exco is in a fix on how to explain or justify why the CC Constitution was approved by their predecessors back then. However, due consideration must be given to the fact that the CC Constitution was approved by the then Exco when Pastor Prince Guneratnam (PG) was its General Superintendent (GS). With PG sitting in the Exco as the GS, who in the Exco then, would be courageous enough to question or not approve PG’s Church Constitution?

Coming back to these pastors, they feel that the TTG should have exhausted the “available” step before going to Court. Do they really understand or know what this “available” step is? Do they know exactly what the requirements are in order for the TTG to requisite for an EGM? We will try to explain the requirements in simple terms.

Firstly, we must understand that there are only two Meetings in which the Church Members can vote on Resolutions.

1. Annual General Meeting (AGM). This can only be called for by the Board of Deacons.

2. Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM). This can be called for by the BOD or by Voting Members by way of a “requisition”.

Now this is the “available avenue” that the pastors are saying that the TTG should have taken. Convene an EGM by way of requisition.

Secondly, we need to understand what CC Constitution states with regards to convening an AGM and EGM.

1, Rule IX (1). states that, "the quorum for a General Meeting is ¼ of the total Voting Members." This means, if the Church has 880 members, there should be 220 members in attendance before the Meeting can proceed.

2. Rule IX (2). states that, “If within half an hour from the time appointed for a General Meeting a quorum is not present at the said meeting, the voting members so present shall by a two thirds majority vote resolve that all Voting members so present shall duly constitute a proper quorum for such a general meeting…”

This simply means that if a General Meeting is convened (called for) by the BOD and after half an hour only one Voting Member turns up, that one member can vote to proceed and the Meeting can actually proceed technically with just one Voting member present, as allowed by the CC Constitution now.

3. Rule IX (7) states that members may requisite for an EGM with signatures from ¼ of the voting members. This means, if the Church has 880 members, we would need 220 signatures before we can requisite for an EGM.

Assuming 220 signatures have been obtained, 3 things can happen depending on the Board of Deacons (BOD) decision.

1. The BOD on receiving the requisition can convene (call for) the EGM within 30 days. If the BOD convenes (calls for) the EGM, the quorum is ¼ of the Voting Members as required in Rule IX 1.

2. The BOD can also refuse to convene (call for) the Meeting.

3. In such case, the requisitioning members can convene the Meeting as provided by Rule IX (7b). It sounds very nice and democratic but Rule IX (7b) imposes an unfair condition on the requisitionists (the 220 signatories). The rule says, “In such an event and notwithstanding Rule IX (1) & Rule IX (2), the total number of VM present to form a quorum shall not be less than one-half of the existing voting membership.”

This means that, if the church has 880 VM, there must be 440 VM present to form a quorum to convene the EGM.

What does this mean in simple terms?

1. When BOD calls for a General Meeting, only 220 VMs need to be present. However, they have an escape clause to carry on the meeting even if less than 220 VM turn up. Technically, even if  one VM turns up, the BOD can convene the Meeting.

2. However, the requisitionists or the 220 signatories will need 440 VM present before the EGM can proceed. There is no escape clause provided.

How can the AOG Exco approve such unfair and biased provisions in a Church Constitution?

It has an apparent form of democracy and fairness but it is really a camouflage. The Constitution does provide for the rights of members to requisite for an EGM but the same Constitution also makes it almost impossible for the members to do so. The members are made to feel happy at first glance but will be made to face a mountain when exercised.

This is all part of the great deception. Make the members believe that they enjoy democratic rights and responsibilities of a Congregational Church but in reality, it is a Dictatorial Structured Church disguised as a Democratic Structured Church.

Does the present EXCO members and pastors really think that TTG would have been successful in trying to requisite for an EGM as the “available avenue” to propose any Resolutions with PG and the present BOD in control?

Let us do a flashback.

The TTG submitted 7 Resolutions for tabling at the August 2008 EGM. As it happened, the BOD threw out the resolutions. The reasons given were two fold:

1. The first reason given by the Church Secretary was that the explanations from the lawyer and forensic accountants would address the issues. What a ridiculous answer! What has the explanations from the lawyer and accountant to do with the tabling of resolutions?

2. Perhaps recognising that the reason given sounded ridiculous, she then said that since no Preliminary Notice of meeting was given for the said EGM, the BOD would not entertain any resolution.

Since Rule IX (5) states, “within 7 clear days after preliminary notice is given…”, the TTG accepted her interpretation of the Constitution at that time and waited for the AGM instead. This was the TTG’s FIRST ATTEMPT to submit Resolutions for tabling.

Then at the 2009 AGM, the TTG made a SECOND ATTEMPT and submitted the same Resolutions based on Rule IX (5) which states,


a) No matter or resolution shall be brought forward at any GM unless written submissions has or have been received by the Secretary of the Board of Deacons within 7 clear days after preliminary notice is given of such meeting or meetings.

b) Subject to para (5a) of this Rule, any matter or resolution, notice of which has been received, shall if received in sufficient time before such meeting, be included in the notice convening the meeting.

Even this time when the TTG submitted their resolutions in absolute compliance with the requirements stated, the resolutions were “thrown out”. The reason given was it was unconstitutional. What does ”unconstitutional” means, up till today no one can explain it properly. The best “award winning” explanation given at this 2009 AGM was that tabling the members’ resolutions were likened to tabling the purchase of Manchester United in a church AGM. This analogy was actually suggested by a young lawyer who was voted in as Deacon at that AGM. This ridiculous analogy was actually accepted by the Resolution Chairman, Pastor Ronnie Chin who is also the Assistant General Superintendent of AOG today. Is this the quality or integrity of our Christian leaders today?

Once bitten, twice shy. After the bitter experience at the 2009 AGM, no one in the right frame of mind would attempt to propose any Resolutions based on the current flawed Constitution. Please listen to the recordings of the 2009 AGM to feel the heartache and intimidation members were subjected to.

Please listen to CLIP 6.
Click here to listen : 2009 AGM

Anyway, this is water under the bridge. With the mastery stroke of a pen, PG has recently axed more than 400 suspected TTG supporters (with many innocent members included as well) from Voting and Associate membership. This despicable act of dictatorship has effectively stopped all possibilities of any requisition for an EGM by any remaining TTG supporters or concerned members.

So have the TTG exhausted all avenues?
The TTG/Concerned Members have exercised great patience and tolerance in trying to engage the BOD to be fair to all the members of the church. The pastors who make comments such as these,

“They should not have taken the case to court.
They have not exhausted all avenues!!!”

have very little or have not understood the camouflage and deception that are embedded in the CC constitution.

Can we fault the pastors?
The camouflage and deceptions in the CC Constitution are very difficult to detect by mere reading. The true spirit of the CC Constitution can only be seen and felt when it is exercised or put to a test like what is happening now….the ongoing CCC, short for Calvary Church Crisis.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Welcome to Calvary Today 2

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The contents of both CT & CT2 are the same. 

We thank God for wisdom upon our administrators. As we have dedicated the entire month of May to concentrate on Praying together with Christians across our nation for Malaysia, God is faithful and He has given us the wisdom and His favour for us to be able to put together this Mirror site on this first day of June. We have learned that God is never early and He is never late. He is always JUST ON TIME.

We will continue to be in existence until we hear from God to cease.

God Bless and continue to Rejoice in the Lord Always.

CT Administrators