New Silkroutes CEO Goh Jin Hian and finance director William Teo assisting with CAD probe

Goh Jin Hian, chief executive officer of New Silkroutes Group.
Goh Jin Hian, chief executive officer of New Silkroutes Group.PHOTO: BUSINESS TIMES

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Mainboard-listed health-care provider New Silkroutes Group disclosed on Wednesday night (Sept 30) that its executive director and chief executive officer Goh Jin Hian and finance director William Teo are assisting the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) with investigations.

The group was responding to queries raised by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) regarding ongoing investigations by CAD into possible offence under the Securities and Futures Act.

The company said it understands that the alleged offence is false trading and market rigging pursuant to Section 197 of the Securities and Futures Act in view of past share buy-backs and acquisitions of shares.

"All share buy-backs conducted by the company previously were in the ordinary course and transacted on the open market and announced in accordance with the share buy-back mandate approved by the shareholders of the company and the SGX-ST's guidelines and regulations," said New Silkroutes.

The passports of both Dr Goh, who is the son of former prime minister Goh Chok Tong, and Mr Teo have been retained by the CAD; neither has been arrested nor charged, and no bail has been required to be posted, noted the group.

New Silkroutes had earlier this month been told to hand over information and papers for a police probe, according to the group in a bourse filing.

Mr Kelvyn Oo, independent director of Catalist-listed oil and gas-related company Teho International, is also assisting with investigations. Mr Oo was formerly the executive director and chief corporate officer of New Silkroutes but left on Aug 1.

In response to the SGX's query on whether the parties named are subjects of the investigation, New Silkroutes said that as far as the company is aware, no charges have been made against the named parties. It also noted that the notice by CAD and the Monetary Authority of Singapore on Sept 24 did not disclose the subject(s) of the investigation.

"The nominating committee and the board are of the view that Dr Goh and Mr Teo are suitable to continue as a director and/or executive officer of the company, as investigations are still ongoing and no charges have been made against them," said the group.

Dr Goh was also designated chairman of the company with effect from Aug 1 following the retirement of Pao Kiew Tee as independent director and chairman. Dr Goh will be retiring as CEO with effect from Oct 1 and will become the non-executive chairman thereafter.

 

In a separate filing on Wednesday night, New Silkroutes announced the appointment of Dr VicPearly Wong as CEO to replace Dr Goh with effect from Oct 1.

Dr Wong is the director and founder of Orange Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopaedics, Wren Dental and Medical Supplies and Greedygums. These companies were acquired by New Silkroutes in 2017 and she was subsequently appointed clinical director (dental) of the group's Healthsciences International.

Dr Wong obtained her master's in business administration from the University of Manchester in 2015 and is currently pursuing a professional program on artificial intelligence in healthcare from the Stanford School of Medicine. 

With additional information from The Straits Times