Ex-Malaysian beauty queen, husband to pay $1.2m to Q&M Dental Group in settlement

Q&M had filed a lawsuit against Madam Zoe Chong Lee Lee (above) and her husband, Dr Matthew Hong An Liang, who used to run Q&M dental clinics in Johor, Malaysia, back in 2017.
Q&M had filed a lawsuit against Madam Zoe Chong Lee Lee (above) and her husband, Dr Matthew Hong An Liang, who used to run Q&M dental clinics in Johor, Malaysia, back in 2017.PHOTOS: ZOE CHONG/FACEBOOK, ST FILE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - A former Mrs Malaysia Universe and her husband have agreed to pay Q&M Dental Group RM3.5 million (S$1.2 million) as part of a settlement with the mainboard-listed company, which sued them for alleged breach of agreements.

Q&M had filed a lawsuit against Madam Zoe Chong Lee Lee and her husband, Dr Matthew Hong An Liang, who used to run Q&M dental clinics in Johor, Malaysia, back in 2017.

The company had then alleged that the duo deposited or transferred company funds into their personal accounts, and also had set up a competing outfit behind Q&M Johor clinics, using the company's resources without permission.

In its bourse filing on Thursday (Jan 16), Q&M said that it had reached a full settlement of all the claims on Sept 10, via consent judgment issued by the Johor Baru High Court.

Besides paying the settlement sum, Dr Hong and Madam Chong have agreed to publish in print an open apology, albeit without admission of liability, to the company in one Malaysian newspaper and in one Singapore newspaper. The couple has since done so in Malaysia's Nanyang Siang Pau and The Straits Times in Singapore on Jan 15.

Dr Hong will also resign as a director of two Johor Q&M entities, Q&M Dental Surgery (Molek) and Q&M Dental Surgery (Austin). He and his wife will also transfer their joint 30 per cent stake in Q&M Johor to the parent company for a nominal sum of RM2.

All parties in the lawsuit have agreed to settle all outstanding claims and counterclaims in the main suit and withdraw appeals, reports and complaints filed against each other, except for three related appeals, of which two have been judged.

Q&M shares closed flat at $0.48 on Thursday.