Special panel convened to look into suspension of Singapore Environment Council head Edwin Seah

SEC executive director Edwin Seah entering the office before the disciplinary inquiry, on Nov 2, 2016. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - A special panel was convened on Wednesday (Nov 2) to look into the reasons why Mr Edwin Seah, the executive director of the Singapore Environment Council (SEC), was suspended from his role in the charity last month.

Mr Seah was at the SEC office when The Straits Times visited on Wednesday afternoon. Also in attendance was the council's Executive Committee Chairman Lam Joon Khoi, National Environment Agency director Dalson Chung, and Teo Ho Pin, mayor of the North West CDC.

The Straits Times understands the panel was supposed to be convened at 3.45pm. It finally started at about 4pm.

Mr Seah, 46, had said he was not given any reasons when he was first told via a phone call from Mr Lam on Oct 13.

The Straits Times understands that Mr Seah was suspended for not following standard operating procedure during an SEC event and over suspicions that he was behind an anonymous e-mail that was sent to media organisations early this year.

In response to queries, a SEC spokesman told The Straits Times: "We had a good discussion with Edwin Seah and took the opportunity to clarify certain points with him. We will discuss with the Board on the next steps."

Mr Seah's suspension is the latest in a string of personnel changes in the charity. In April, Mr Kavickumar, 27, left to join Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). Former chief executive Jose Raymond, 44, also joined APP in January but left last month and has since set up his own public relations firm.

SEC is a non-governmental organisation that spreads environmental awareness through training programmes, awards and its Singapore Green Labelling Scheme. It was started in 1995 and has 28 full-time staff.

Mr Seah, who was previously at the Singapore Tourism Board and Energy Market Authority, was nominated along with SEC former eco-certification head Kavickumar Muruganathan for The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year award last year. They were recognised for raising awareness about the link between the haze and unsustainable paper products.

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