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Mon, Jun 21, 2010
The New Paper
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Ho Yeow Sun's $28,000-a-month Hollywood home
by Shree Ann Mathavan and Lediati Tan


FOR a personality who posts online videos of her new hairdo, singer Ho Yeow Sun, popularly  known as Sun Ho, has been quiet of late.

Calls to her and her manager have not been returned.

Ms Ho, 40, is married to Reverend Kong Hee, 45, of City Harvest Church.

The pair, with at least 16 others connected to the church, have been assisting the Commercial Affairs Department in an investigation into alleged misuse of church funds. Until her return on  Monday, Ms Ho had been spending much of her time in Los Angeles, for her music career.

The pop star has been shuttling back and forth between Singapore and the US since 2003.

The week before she returned to Singapore, The New Paper on Sunday went to the estate she is  renting at Hollywood Hills. Even there, she avoided the media.

Her manager did not return any calls. And despite spending three days waiting outside the  estate, Ms Ho couldn’t be contacted. But there were people living inside the rental estate which is listed for sale at US$5.6 million ($7.7m).

Over the three days, The New Paper on Sunday spotted a black SUV and a black Mercedes Benz  CLK550 driving in and out of the estate which has four buildings in all. Ms Ho is understood to be living there with her son, an assistant, a nanny and Ms Ho’s relatives.

Housing agents who specialise in the area describe Hollywood Hills as a high-end suburb. Universal  Studios is a 10-minute drive away.

Celebrities who have set up home there include Paris Hilton’s sister Nicky, Ugly Betty star America Ferrera and British singer Leona Lewis.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are also said to own a property in the vicinity.

Other than big names in the movie industry, millionaires and high-profile businessmen have bought homes in the quiet and peaceful neighbourhood with a low crime rate.

The neighbourhood is packed with continental cars including Mercedes Benzs, Audis, BMWs and  Volkswagons. Police cars also patrol the area about once every four hours.

Most of the houses have their house number marked prominently on their gates and police patrols here are so extensive, some of the homes do not even have front walls or gates fencing them off from the main street.

Among the many neat houses, stands a cluster of dark green Spanish Mediterranean style buildings which Ms Ho has been renting for the past year.

The estate stands out from other properties in the area as it is bigger than its immediate

A narrow driveway about 8m long from the road leads up to the gate of the property.

Most of the neighbours have driveways which are about two car lengths. Much of the view of the  property is blocked from public view by foliage, the dark green gate and the two-metre high walls – topped with glass shards to prevent intruders from climbing in.

It also has enhanced security features, including a warning sign that the place is under “armed  response”. Signs also direct visitors to ring the doorbell for deliveries and for parcels to be left at the right corner of the gate.

To gain entry, visitors have to punch in a password. The property is not marked by a number
on the gate but the address is marked on the kerb.

The estate, standing on 29,000 sq ft of land or about a third of a soccer field, is being rented out  for about US$20,000 ($27,700) a month, said the agent in charge, who declined to be named.

Live-in staff quarters

The property comprises a main house and three self-contained structures, quarters for a
butler,nanny and maid.

The total built-up area of the estate is 6,766 sq ft or about the size of five five-room HDB flats.

The 4,135 sq ft main house has four bedrooms. The property also boasts a swimming pool, a sundeck and a two-car garage but its driveway has space for another nine cars.

The housing agent in charge of the property said the tenant’s staff such as her butler, nanny and other live-in staff live in some of the houses and the current tenant pays the entire monthly rent.

Due to its sheer size and price, the two owners of the house have had difficulties selling the place, which has been on the market since 2007.

Ms Ho’s current lease ends in November and she had asked for an extension, said the agent.

The agent described Ms Ho as “Singapore’s top singerand entertainer”.

Ms Ho has also posted videos of herself in the home online.

In one such video, she is seen dancing with a top USdancer who has choreographed moves for singer Justin Timberlake.

Neighbours we spoke to said most residents of the suburb are private people.

When showed a picture of Ms Ho, one neighbour confirmed she is the tenant and described her as an “entertainer”.

The neighbour, who declined to be named, said: “Yes, it’s her. She’s got long hair and nice straight teeth. I’ve seen her many times.”

She added that Ms Ho was “very sophisticated and seems traditional” as she often holds gatherings for traditional festivities such as Chinese New Year.

Until recently, Ms Ho had also been posting videos of her life in the US on her official website.

The videos posted included those of her spending time with her five-year-old son Dayan at Manhattan Beach, her relief work in Haiti after the earthquake and picking up US$217 worth of groceries from Whole Foods Market, a natural and organic food store.

Other videos showed her shopping in New York at luxury department store Barneys New York. She is later seen carrying three big Barneys’ bags toan unidentified location.

The same video later showed her getting ready for the red carpet event at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.


This article was first published in The New Paper.

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