Swee Hong's MD-CEO vacates posts after bankruptcy order

Mr Ong remains an adviser to the Swee Hong board.
Mr Ong remains an adviser to the Swee Hong board.

The managing director and chief executive officer of engineering group Swee Hong has vacated his posts after a bankruptcy order was made against him.

Swee Hong yesterday said it was informed by lawyers acting for Mr Ong Hock Leong that the order was lodged on Feb 18. Mr Ong, 44, left his position as a director that day, in accordance with the Companies Act.

He ceased to act as the managing director and the group chief executive with effect from last Thursday, said the company in a Singapore Exchange filing yesterday.

Swee Hong told The Straits Times it was not able to provide more details about the bankruptcy order.

It appointed Mr Mohamed Amanullah as acting group CEO, with effect from last Friday. He will continue to serve as chief financial officer.

Mr Ong has agreed to remain an adviser to the board.

Swee Hong has recorded losses for the past three financial years. Net losses from continuing operations for the 2015 financial year ended June 30 were $18.9 million. However, if discontinuing operations were included, net losses grew to $50.9 million. It also incurred net losses of $20 million in 2014 and $16.3 million in 2013.

Filings by the company since October show that United Overseas Bank, as the mortgagee of the company, tried to find a buyer for Swee Hong's property at Kranji Link.

On Dec 7, the independent external auditor of the firm's 2015 results, said there were "material uncertainties which may cast significant doubt on the group's ability to continue as a going concern".

On Dec 8, Swee Hong said the court had approved an arrangement to restructure its debt.

Mr Ong has been Swee Hong's managing director since being appointed to its board on March 31, 2008. His remuneration for the 2015 financial year was $322,000, its annual report said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2016, with the headline 'Swee Hong's MD-CEO vacates posts after bankruptcy order'. Subscribe