Head of environmental group SEC Edwin Seah suspended from duty

Mr Edwin Seah, executive director of the Singapore Environment Council (SEC). PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The executive director of the Singapore Environment Council (SEC), Mr Edwin Seah, has been suspended from duty, The Straits Times has learnt.

But Mr Seah, 46, told The Straits Times that no reason was given for his suspension. He said he was told about the news on Thursday (Oct 13) morning.

"I'm shocked because no reason was given, and I was due to travel tomorrow night on official business," he said.

"The news was delivered to me via telephone by (SEC) executive committee chairman Lam Joon Khoi."

Mr Seah was due to fly to Kiev, Ukraine, on Friday night to attend the annual general meeting and elections for the Global Ecolabelling Network AGM and elections, for which he is an elected board member.

But he was told he was suspended indefinitely on Thursday morning.

When contacted, an SEC spokesman would only say: "The SEC Board has decided to suspend Edwin Seah with effect from today. We are unable to comment further as investigations are ongoing."

During the haze crisis last September, SEC had, under the leadership of Mr Seah, taken the unprecedented step of asking major retailers here to declare that they did not sell products from alleged haze culprits, including Asia Pulp and Paper (APP).

Supermarket chains such as FairPrice and Giant pulled APP products off their shelves and there were calls for people to boycott APP products, which range from the Paseo brand of toilet rolls to the FairPrice brand of facial tissue.

The Straits Times understands that a committee of inquiry by the SEC will be held on Oct 19.

Mr Seah was nominated for The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year award last year (2015) for his role in generating consumer awareness for haze-linked products.

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