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


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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

Escape from Paradise – the Promotional Trailer

A new review of Escape from Paradise appears on Amazon – from the Chung gang?

A new review of Escape from Paradise recently showed up on Amazon. It appeared to be planted by one of the members of the former Chung gang, Keith C. Wilson. At first glance, the intent of Keith C. Wilson’s review was to spoil our perfect 4-star Amazon rating, but…

Like all Chung gang members, however, Keith C. Wilson screwed up and made some comments which turn out to be extremely helpful. He states, “the book is full of undisputable facts.” Even though we have never been sued over our book, it is nice to have this validation—from one who knows. “Undisputable” means the facts in the book are true, and not open to question.

Keith C. Wilson goes on to state, “the book does not go deep enough…” Well, of course, we were not privy to everything that the Chung gang was up to. Still, we had enough, but it would have been interesting to hear Keith C. Wilson spill his guts.

Below, is an excerpt from Escape from Paradise, naming Keith C. Wilson under his own name and under his initials K.C.W.

In the excerpt, the Chung gang has been panicked by the incarceration of the boss’s son, Chung Hin Chew, in Brunei. The boss, S. P. Chung (code name “the Man” ), had just fled Singapore, and his guardian angel, Daniel C. Arnold, former CIA Chief of Station in Bangkok was planning to rescue Chung Hin Chew by helicopter. The CIA? Gosh, what were the Chungs up to?

S. P. Chung fled to Singapore where he purchased that country’s citizenship. Son, Chung Hin Chew, is now holed up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Keith C. Wilson? Our sources tell us he is most likely in Malaysia—now taking orders from the heir to the Chung gang, Chung Hin Chew.

Below is an excerpt from Escape from Paradise, only one of the places where our “reviewer,” Keith C. Wilson, is mentioned.

 

Kenneth C. Wilson's review

Kenneth C. Wilson's review

THE FALL OF S.  P.  CHUNG

The next two meetings of the Chungs took place at S.  P’s office in Hong Kong, so “the man” could attend.
The minutes of these meetings produced a laundry list of things for Hin Chew to do in Brunei:

NOTES OF MEETINGS HELD ON THE 14 AND 55 NOV., 1984 PRESENT: THE MAN, PHILIP AND KEVIN.

  1. SELL ALL ASSETS TO NO 4.
  2. PAYMENT FOR THESE CAN BE MADE OVER THE NEXT IO YEARS.
  3. PUSH AHEAD WITH THE CLAIMS AGAINST B.S.P.
  4. KEEP CALM AND DO NOT PUSH TOO HARD.
  5. DO NOT SEND OUT ANY OF THE YARD EQUIP.
  6. HAND OVER BY 1985 1ST OF JANUARY.
  7. TELL JIM BELL TO KEEP QUIET AND NOT TO PUSH B.S.P.
  8. TRY TO GET H.C.  OUT FOR A SHORT VISIT TO SING.
  9. CHECK WITH RONNIE IF ASSETS IN SIN.  OR H.K.  CAN BE CONFISCATED.
  10. CHECK IF THE STATES HAS AN EXTRADITION TREATY WITH BRUNEI.
  11. S.  P.  TRYING TO ARRANGE TRANSFER OF THE 5.8M FROM NEW YORK.
  12. FIND OUT WHAT IS THE FEELINGS OF HARDY IN C.B.
  13. AFTER FATHER READ THE BOYS LETTERS HE DID NOT SLEEP FOR THREE NIGHTS.
  14. FATHER IS VERY UPSET AND WORRIED HE IS DOING ALL HE CAN TO PUT THINGS RIGHT BUT HE FEELS VERY HELPLESS.
  15. TRY TO GET HARDY TO EXCHANGE THE GOLD FOR PHYSICAL GOLD IN H.K.
  16. JEWELS AND GOLD COINS WILL BE TAKEN OUT TO SIN. BY K.C.W.
  17. S.  P.  WILL ISSUE A POWER OF ATT.  FOR H.C.
  18. CHECK ON THE LIABILITIES OF MRS.  C.  WHAT LIABILITIES HAS SHE GOT.
  19. GOLD IS TO BE PUT IN MADAME YEO’S NAME.
  20. H.C.  HAS TO KEEP FIT AND LOSE A BIT OF WEIGHT.  HE IS TO STOP DRINKS.

The Chung gang was becoming professional with the use of code names.  “Philip” and “Kevin” had joined the gang, code names for Peter, and Goh Boon Kok, respectively.

Could Brunei extradite S.  P.  from the United States?

Could they confiscate his assets in Hong Kong or Singapore?

This was beginning to sound like something more than a simple case of “bribery.”

The Chungs were still hoping for “No.  4,” Prince Jefri, to purchase the company, and were willing to give the prince an easy ten-year payment plan, which I doubt that Prince Jefri really needed.

Keith Wilson, aka “K.C.W,” was to smuggle out the Chungs’ jewels and gold from Brunei, and Jim Bell, who didn’t rate a code name, as he was doing too much blabbing, should shut up.

Madam Yeo, Lillian’s maiden name, was to get the gold, which Hardy of Citibank was to deliver in gold bars to Hong Kong.

I could envision the staid Citibanker, Hardy, rowing up to a lonely Hong Kong wharf in a small rowboat laden with gold bars, and nearly sinking under their weight.

Citibank always did a lot for the Chungs.  The situation was growing desperate, and on November 16, the next day, the third meeting was called to order at 10:20 A.M.  This meeting was attended by “The man,” “Philip,” “Eric,” “Amy,” and “Kevin.”

More gangland style “handles” were appearing.  Feng, the accountant somehow signed on as “Eric,” Agnes, S.  P.’s trusted secretary, joined up as “Amy.” Hin Chew and Paul, S.  P.’s youngest, became “Carl,” and “Patrick.”

The important players had to be protected, although most of the unimaginative code names were a dead giveaway.

The minutes of this meeting revealed that, “The man will take his wife to the University Land on 19 Nov., Philip will follow ASAP.”

Countries were also being protected by code names, “University Land,” was the United States, and “Philip,” who was Peter, would follow.

“All contacts with the man to be made through Eric or Amy.” Only Agnes and Feng would know S.  P.’s whereabouts.

“Try to arrange for Carl to go the Supply Land for a short visit.  He will not return.” “Supply Land” was Singapore.  S.  P.  would try to spring Hin Chew from Brunei, but Jim would be left holding the bag.  Jim was expendable.

“Ask Mac and Carl to see No.  4, if he doesn’t want the company, give it to H.H., keeping only 5 to 10% for `face.”‘ “H.H.” was a thinly disguised reference to His Highness Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

It was interesting to see that S.  P.  had been able to involve “Mac,” in the deal.  Why would John McCormack of Coopers and Lybrand want to associate with the Chungs at this point, didn’t he have a lot to lose?  Was there a compensating gain on the other side of the ledger for Mac?

The minutes of the November 16 meeting continued with, “Buy shares immediately with the 3.5m in H.K.S.B.  to be put in a nominee company in Hong Kong under the name of Madame Yeo.  They must buy shares immediately no matter what the price is.  Afterwards the link with H.K.S.B.  will be cut.  Transfer the 225,000 in OUB to a deposit in the name of Madame Yeo in Singapore.”

“Locked box in City to be taken out by Carl.  The bricks are to be exchanged with Hardy then put in the name of Madame Yeo in H.K.”

We all know what “bricks” are in gangster-lingo, gold bars.  The money was moving fast, and the money trail was being erased.

“The office in Thailand is to be given up and closed down.”

It was not a good time for S.  P.  to go on with his business plan, it was a time to cut losses, and to lower profiles.

“Maximum expenditure permitted in S’pore and H.K.  is z.8 to 3.5m.  Meeting ended Ii:45AM.”

The expenditures, 2.8 to 3.5 million, were surprising to me.  Again, where was all this money coming from?

At this point, S.  P.  and Lillian were scheduled to make their getaway to America, but suddenly the information was received that Hin Chew’s life was in danger, and an emergency meeting was called.

Lillian would also attend this meeting, after all her son’s life was now at stake.

This final meeting, a crucial and emotional event, took place on November 17, at 8:30 in the morning.  Present were “The man, Philip, Kevin and Mrs.  Man,” S.  P., Peter, Goh Boon Kok, and Lillian.

Goh Boon Kok was the only person, outside of the family, who would be allowed to know of the threat to Hin Chew’s life.

“The man said that Carl’s life is in danger if he cannot sort things out by December he will be in for a difficult two years.”

Hin Chew’s life in danger?  Why?  For bribery?  It didn’t make sense.  There had to be more than bribery involved.

And how did the “word” get to the Chungs that Hin Chew was in danger?  Who would know such a thing?  Did the news that Hin Chew’s life was in danger come from Inspector Freddie Chong in Brunei?  Possibly, but I doubt it as he was highly placed.  He didn’t have advance notice that Hin Chew would be arrested at the Brunei airport, or so he claimed.

Who then?  The only person I could think of was S. P.’s guardian angel, Dan Arnold, who had high-level intelligence connections dating back his days in the CIA.

7 comments to A new review of Escape from Paradise appears on Amazon – from the Chung gang?

  • Nathan K

    WoWW!Congratulations on the validation of your book!
    I read it and highly recommend it!
    Nathan K
    Los Angeles, CA

  • David E

    We read your book, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
    This is surely a major turn of events?
    Keith Wilson has his say!!!#@#
    Congrats John and May!!!
    David and Evelyn E
    Scottsdale, AZ

  • Alan W

    From what had happened, the Chungs were already OUT OF BUSINESS when they lost their business in Brunei. Increcibly stupid of them to even negotiate with the Brunei Prince.

  • Peter H

    After reading this book, I wouldn’t be real happy if my daughter married a guy from a rich family in Asia. I think these rich men may just lose their guidance to life values when they return to Asia.
    Peter H
    Sydney,Australia

  • Christine

    Lucky for May to take her sons to America.
    Her husband would have tied her up in legal knots if she remained in Singapore. She had no choice.
    I have to agree, a real turn of events, that keith Wilson came out with a validation on the book!
    God bless,
    Cristine
    Boulder, CO

  • Herbert Reisner

    Hello May and John,
    My wife and I havelived in Singapore. We’ve read your book, and we simply could not put it down!
    We are appalled and horrified by the behavior of the Chungs, they have a sense of entitlement and the arrogance in their minds!
    How wicked and cruel what they did to all 3 daughters-in-law is beyond our belief.

    Yes, great news for you, now this fellow, Keith Wilson has validated your book!

    I am so glad that May, you managed to survive this terrible ordeal. No one should have to go through life like this!
    sincerely,
    Herbert and Maude Reisner
    New York, USA

  • Doug O

    It’s a great book about how treacherous people can be! i have it as a referecence book.
    A must have in your library!
    Doug O
    Singapore