Kong Hee, founder of City Harvest Church, was released from jail on Thursday, Aug. 22.
He appeared considerably older in a video taken by Today of his exit from Changi Prison:
Kong appeared in a cap, white polo shirt and jeans, and was escorted by personnel in sunglasses and wearing lanyards.
His hair appeared grey underneath his cap.
He was asked by waiting media if he had anything to say, but he just shook his head and smiled as he was whisked away in a waiting black vehicle with tinted windows.
Other media photos showed Kong with a head full of white hair:
Released one day before his birthday
The megachurch pastor served two years and four months -- two-thirds the length of the three years and six months he was sentenced to, given the one-third remission of jail terms for good behaviour.
The pastor left Changi Prison a day before his 55th birthday.
City Harvest Church statement
In response to his release, City Harvest Church released a statement.
It said that Kong will be spending time with his family, "especially his elderly parents".
Here is the statement in full:
A Message from the Leadership on Pastor Kong’s Release
August 22, 2019
Dear Church Family,
It is with humble gratitude to our Lord that we announce Pastor Kong’s release from prison today.
While serving time, he spent most of his time seeking and studying the things of God.
Pastor thanks you all for your unceasing prayers these last few years, for him and for his family. Your letters brought him comfort and joy.
Pastor will be taking a period to spend time with his family, especially his elderly parents. Please do continue to keep him, Sun, Dayan and his parents in prayer.