NKF sacks CEO for offence against male colleague

The National Kidney Foundation has sacked its chief executive officer Edmund Kwok due to a personal indiscretion involving a male employee.
Mr Kwok was dismissed after a disciplinary hearing. NKF chairman Mr Koh, flanked by board members, Dr Wan (left) and Associate Professor Abdul Razakjr Omar, speaking at a media conference yesterday.
NKF chairman Mr Koh, flanked by board members, Dr Wan (left) and Associate Professor Abdul Razakjr Omar, speaking at a media conference yesterday.ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG, FILE
Mr Kwok was dismissed after a disciplinary hearing. NKF chairman Mr Koh, flanked by board members, Dr Wan (left) and Associate Professor Abdul Razakjr Omar, speaking at a media conference yesterday.
Mr Kwok was dismissed after a disciplinary hearing.ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG, FILE

The National Kidney Foundation has sacked its chief executive officer, Mr Edmund Kwok, after verifying that he committed a "reportable offence" against a male colleague.

The alleged incident occurred on Nov 7. The man in question reported it to his supervisor the next day.

At a disciplinary hearing on Sunday, Mr Kwok, 58, did not deny the incident, NKF chairman Koh Poh Tiong said yesterday. Mr Kwok, who is married with two children, was dismissed on Monday.

"Because of its seriousness, and as advised by our lawyers that it is a reportable case, we have made a police report," Mr Koh said at a press conference. Police confirmed that investigations were under way.

The Straits Times understands the incident was of a sexual nature.

CHAIRMAN'S PROMISE

NKF will not allow a single Singaporean to die because he has no money or because there is no space for dialysis.

NKF CHAIRMAN KOH POH TIONG, on the rise in the number of people needing dialysis.

"We have no knowledge of whether it is just a one-off incident or something that took place for a longer time," board member William Wan told ST. "We will leave it up to police to investigate."

NKF worked to repair its image for 11 years after it was rocked by a scandal involving former CEO T.T. Durai's misuse of charity dollars.

Now, it is again looking for a new boss. Mr Koh has asked Mrs Eunice Tay, who was NKF's CEO from 2006 to 2013, to help out.

Mrs Tay, who is doing church work in Kuching, Sarawak, can take over only from next month. In the meantime, Mr Koh and two board members will run NKF.

Mr Koh said the incident did not affect NKF finances. He appealed to members of the public not to let one man's behaviour affect their support for NKF. Last year, it spent $100 million helping 4,000 patients.

By 2020, given the rising number of kidney failure patients - five more every day - it will need $200 million a year. But he promised: "I will find the money. NKF will not allow a single Singaporean to die because he has no money or because there is no space for dialysis."

The Ministry of Health said it will work with NKF "to ensure that services to patients are not disrupted."

SEE TOP OF THE NEWS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2016, with the headline 'NKF sacks CEO for offence against male colleague'. Print Edition | Subscribe