Chew Eng Han and his sampan adrift in sea of puns

Nicholas Yong
Senior Correspondent
City Harvest former fund manager Chew Eng Han was arrested for trying to leave Singapore on 21 Feb 2018. Photo: Casandra Wong/Yahoo News Singapore

From social media platforms to online forums and chat groups, netizens are having a field day with the failed attempt by former City Harvest Church (CHC) fund manager Chew Eng Han to flee from Singapore on a motorised sampan.

Chew, 57, and Tan Poh Teck, 53, who was piloting the boat, were intercepted by Police Coast Guard officers on Wednesday morning (21 February). The duo was discovered with about $5,000 in cash, fishing equipment and three mobile phones.

When approached by the officers, they claimed that they were fishing. Police said, however, that they were trying to make their way to Malaysia.

On Thursday, Chew was charged with attempting to leave Singapore illegally while Tan was charged with abetting Chew in the offence.

Chew had been scheduled to begin his jail term of 3 years and 4 months on Thursday for his part in the long-running CHC saga.

Since Wednesday, the online space has been brimming with jokes and memes revolving around the humble sampan and Chew’s “fishing expedition”.

And so let the puns begin!

1. Another failed Crossover project. 
2. Why use a sampan? If you were truly faithful, you’d walk across the water.
3. Maybe he used a motorised sampan because he hoped Jesus would take the wheel.
4. He claimed he was fishing but the police didn’t take the bait. 
5. He is trying to fish using all the $50 notes as bait. 
6. I think he is fishing lah. Don’t jump to conclusions! 年年有鱼
7. CHC is full of people with conviction. 
8. I hope the sampan can be part of this year’s NDP.
9. Chew Eng Han (CEH) = Caught Escaping Halfway
10. His escape attempt failed hook, line and sinker. 

Screen shot of a Chew Eng Han meme on Twitter

Related stories:

City Harvest saga: Chew Eng Han and accomplice charged over failed attempt to leave Singapore

Ex-City Harvest fund manager Chew Eng Han arrested for attempting to flee Singapore by motorised sampan

City Harvest Church: Jail terms maintained for Kong Hee and other ex-leaders

Chew Eng Han’s second bid to avoid jail ‘abuse of court process’, say judges