The ex-chief of Ren Ci Hospital broke down several times as he took the stand today, Wanbao reported. He told the court how he became a monk, how he became abbot of Foo Hai Ch'an monastery and how he set up Ren Ci.
The monk, 47, is facing four charges for making an unauthorised loan from Ren Ci's coffers to his ex-personal aide Raymond Yeung in 2004. Yeung faces two charges related to the same case.
The court proceedings revealed that the monk has three properties under his name. The properties are located in upscale areas at Orchard, Stevens Road and Holland Road.
According the Wanbao report, the properties were purchased with the help of a wealthy woman from Brunei as well as contributions from devotees. Ming Yi also revealed in court that he lived in one of these properties with other monks when the Foo Hai Ch'an monastery was under construction.
He also told the court that he is one of the listed owners of three other properties, including The Cornwall, a condominium at Holland Road. These properties were purchased using Foo Hai Ch’an monastery’s money and were meant to be investments, Wanbao reported.
The monk stressed that none of Ren Ci’s money was used in the purchase of all the properties.
Lianhe Wanbao also reported that Ming Yi once owned a BMW which he purchased in Melbourne, Australia.
Ming Yi told auditors in December 2007 that the payments made on his credit card to BMW were not for car parts as previously claimed, but for the purchase of a car. The payments were all made in Melbourne.
But when the auditors questioned him on how he could arrange to pay for a car by credit card, Ming Yi changed his statement, saying that he forgot which car parts were purchased at that time.
The monk added that the BMW in question was sold in 2007, and that the car belongs to him. His then personal assistant Raymond Yeung, owns a second-hand car, which was subsequently sold.