John Harding’s book, Escape from Paradise – Paperback and Kindle Versions


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Now, available in Kindle and Paperback! Free Kindle if you purchase Paperback. After buying Paperback, go for the free Kindle!

It took me two and a half evenings to complete your un-put-downable book…it is a unique contribution to the appreciation of a life in Singapore. Thank you for having written it. C. V. Devan Nair, former President of Singapore.

Bought the book from Select this weekend and can’t put it down! It’s a great read! And so nostalgic for me—the good old days! Glen Goei, writer and director of the Miramax film That’s the Way I Like It and who played the title role opposite Anthony Hopkins in the London production of M. Butterfly. Mr. Goei’s latest film is The Blue Mansion – Click for the trailer!

It is a remarkable story and so full of intrigue that it reads at times like fiction.Jonathan Burnham, Editor in Chief & President, Talk Miramax Books.

“It’s quite a story The legendary Alice Mayhew, Vice-President & Editorial Director, Simon & Schuster.

This book out-Dallas, Dallas. No one has written so well of the other side of paradise,Francis T. Seow, former Solicitor General of Singapore

ThunderBall Films is successfully putting together the movie production of Escape from Paradise and has received a new LOI (Letter of Intent) from actress Bai Ling who starred with Richard Gere in the film Red Cross.

This includes a commitment from a CPA firm who does tax credit financing in Ireland, a possible location to film, as part of the package needed for investors – along with the CPA firm’s commitment to apply for and finance the tax credits if ThunderBall does shoot in Ireland and what portion of the budget they would provide.
For inquiries, please contact John Harding at jbharding@gmail.com.

Escape from Paradise – the Promotional Trailer

The Crimes of Singapore Lawyer Tan Cheng Yew – and Family?

Tan Cheng Yew

Tan Cheng Yew

On April 18th, Singapore lawyer Tan Cheng Yew, who had been on the run for six years until his 2009 arrest in Germany, was jailed for nine years for criminal breach of trust and cheating involving a total of $4.8 million.

Tan comes from a family of lawyers—his older brother Professor Tan Cheng Han is the dean of the law faculty at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and a Senior Counsel, while is father, Tan Hock Kim, is a retired lawyer.

In February 2003, Tan fled Singapore for Perth, Australia. There, he stayed in his family’s house as well as hotels, and sent a text message to his parents in Singapore to say he was all right. Initially, he did not contact his family regularly as they ‘didn’t take what I had done… too well’, he said in court earlier this year.

Later that year he traveled to the U.S. using a fake passport and an assumed name—another crime. Passport and visa fraud are felonies in the US. Since Tan Cheng Yew’s forgery had other criminal links, the U.S. penalty is 15 years incarceration.

Tan Hock Kim

Tan Hock Kim

Tan Cheng Yew found employment in the U.S. as legal counsel in multinational companies—another crime as he was a fugitive and not licensed in the U.S. He flew regularly to Munich, Germany, for similar work and meetings.

Tan was arrested at Munich airport on June 2, 2009 and held in remand until his extradition to Singapore in October of that year.

The court record shows that Tan Cheng Yew was in touch with his family while wanted by the authorities. This means that those family members he contacted were “accessories after the fact,” if they did not report the incident to the authorities. Is brother Tan Cheng Han an “accessory after the fact?”

Tan Cheng Han

Tan Cheng Han

Our investigation shows that Tan Cheng Yew’s father, Tan Hock Kim, is a resident of Perth, Australia, hence the family house in Perth.

Since Tan Cheng Yew fled to Perth, and stayed in his family’s house in Perth, was his father there at the time? Did his father know that Tan Cheng Yew was staying at the family home in Perth? If so, his father, Tan Hock Kim, is certainly an “accessory after the fact.”

Why were Tan Cheng Yew’s brother and father not investigated by Singapore for their potential crimes? Would it be too embarrassing for Singapore to have a Senior Counsel and Dean of the NUS law faculty investigated for such a matter?

There is another instance in which Tan Cheng Han was associated with questionable individuals—an instance in which I was personally involved.

Tan Cheng Han was the matrimonial lawyer for Chung Hin Chew, my wife’s former husband, who had been incarcerated for a year in Brunei, and who had contacts with Dan Arnold, a CIA operative.

In our book, Escape from Paradise, we wrote the following about a court hearing presided over by Judge Amarjet Singh:

Tan Cheng Han stood up, stooped forward, and, looking a bit like a praying mantis, turned his head to look at John.  Then turning to Judge Singh, Tan Cheng Han literally screeched, “Your Honor, we demand to know who is the Caucasian man, seated next to the Petitioner!”

Tien Hua quickly retorted, “Your Honor, the gentleman in question has no relevance to this case.”

Now it was my turn to speak up. “Your Honor, I would be only too happy to inform Your Honor who the Caucasian gentleman is.”

Judge Singh nodded.

Without saying a word, I returned to the witness stand, where I continued, “Your Honor, the gentleman seated next to me is John Harding.  He was formerly with Inland Revenue, and is here to advise me on financial and tax matters, especially regarding the Chung companies”

Glancing at John, Judge Singh was a bit confused.  Inland Revenue was populated exclusively with Chinese at the top, Malays in junior positions, and Indians cleaning the hallways and toilets.

Where did a Caucasian fit in?

How extremely observant of my wife, May Chu!

Tan Cheng Yew, Tan Cheng Han and Tan Hock Kim all do look a bit like the praying mantis.

13 comments to The Crimes of Singapore Lawyer Tan Cheng Yew – and Family?

  • Dwight R

    Why isn’t the FBI investigating into Tan’s alleged identity theft? Tan is alleging practising as a attorney here in the States?
    After 9/11, I demand to know why charges are brought up against Tan here in America?
    We go thru’ pat-down hell at our airports and we have this guy coming in and committing all these alleged crimes, all serious felonies?
    Who knows if Tan is a terrorist?
    Dwight R
    Dallas, Texas

  • Janet S

    I just read your post, John. I am an American, and I am outraged that this guy …yeah? ‘allegedly’ committed all these crimes.
    He should be serving time in the slammer.
    I don’t care about his other run arounds.
    Please continue to keep me posted!
    Janet S
    Boise, Idaho

  • SolCal

    Either the INS dropped the ball, or Tan’s coming back to us? Do the crime, do the time!

  • msia news

    the inaccuracies in your posting –
    tan cheng yew, his brother and his father are all malaysian citizens. (although, tan cheng yew and his brother hold S’pore permanent residency status, same as you did during the time you lived in S’pore, man).

    • admin

      The fact that they are Malaysian citizens is not relevant to the Tan’s situation. We had heard this fact, but did not publish it, as we needed proof. Tan Cheng Yew has committed many crimes in the US, which we shall pursue – identity theft, forgery, mail fraud – the list is long and he should be extradited to the US after serving his time in Singapore. If you have any proof of the Tan’s Malaysian citizenship, please send it our way, as we are doing a second article on the Tan family.

  • Todd W

    How did Tan get a US passport? I think he got someone to mail it to him from America to Perth, Australia? Check with FEDEX. Probably US mail. That’s mailfraud, right there. I just don’t think he can be cleared thru’ US customs without a US Passport.
    I think the Dept of Homeland Security screwed up on this case.
    If Tan can get into America so easily, there are other bad guys that are doing this as well.
    The new US passport is coded.

  • F Steinburg

    John, I just read your post. This guy, Tan is in deep trouble. I foresee him being extradited back to the US, for trial. All the alleged acts he allegedly committed in America are major felonies. Great investigation!

  • David R

    How safe is America? Our borders are not secured. Ilegals and mexican drug cartels come in. The present administration puts everyone through hell, at the airport. And we can’t keep even felons with fake US passports out.
    I have visited Singapore. It’s a beautiful, clean country, and the people are wonderful.
    Maybe we should learn a thing or two from Singapore. At least they got the fellow, and we dropped the ball.
    God Bless,
    David R
    Sun City, Arizona

  • Singapore Patriot

    John, you see, we always get our guy!

  • David R

    We can’t keep our borders secured. We got illegals and mexican drug cartels coming in. Now felons are coming in with fake US passports walking right through our US Customs guards.
    We have to be body-scanned, and patted down, when we travel. We are the victims here.
    I have visited Singapore. It’s a beautiful and clean country, with wonderful people. We should learn a thing or two from them.
    They got this fellow, when we should have arrested him.
    How can we even think of keeping out terrorists in our country?
    God Bless,
    David Ross
    Sun City, Arizona

  • RojakMan

    Tan Cheng Yew is sitting in his prison cell. Stupid to run away with $5million. What can $5million get for him. We think professional people like lawyers and doctors are so smart. I’m just a ordinary citizen. Apparently, Mr Tan had a gambling problem.
    His family must be very disappointed with him.

  • Bernad

    Escape from Paradise is an interesting book which I read as a Singaporean. It is not banned, but following English common law, any bookseller selling a defamatory book risks a big lawsuit so no book shop will take a risk, But many Singaporeans have bought copies from Malaysia

    • admin

      Back in 2002, and for a short time, the Singapore National Library had 25 copies, which were all checked out – and with a waiting list.

      On March 14, 2011, I wrote to the Singapore National Library to check on the books availability. On April 12, 2011, the library answered that there was a single copy available – this is not for checking out, but you must sign to read it in the library.

      Below is the correspondence:

      Dear Mr Harding,

      We would like to inform you that as mentioned in our colleague’s previous reply, this book did not meet the Library’s criteria.

      There is a copy in Lee Kong Chian Reference Library’s collection which readers can request for viewing or reference.

      Thank you for using the Ask service.

      Regards,
      Ng Hwee Miang, Ms
      Librarian
      Public Libraries Singapore

      ————— Original Message —————
      From: John Harding [jbharding@gmail.com]
      Sent: 14/03/2011 16:32
      To: ask@nlb.gov.sg
      Subject: Question to NLB ASK! from John Harding

      Question Sent by : jbharding@gmail.com

      Contact No : +16029045

      Question : Why is Escape from Paradise by May Chu and John Harding not available?
      Thanks!

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