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PE2023: Taman Jurong CCC Chairman Who Paid for Tharman’s Posters was Arrested by CAD

The man who paid for Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s presidential campaign posters had been arrested following investigations by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Commercial Affairs Department (CAD).

Ng Kwan Meng, who is also chairman of Taman Jurong Citizens’ Consultative Committee, is credited with approving and paying for Mr Tharman’s campaign posters.

He was awarded the Public Service Medal (PBM) National Day Award in 2020.

Ng was arrested in Feb 2022 together with 4 other directors of Raffles Education Corporation, and released on bail.

The investigations related to disclosures made by the company about a claim by Affin Bank against certain subsidiaries of the company.

Those companies included Raffles K12 and Raffles Iskandar, which manage schools in Malaysia.

Raffles Education and its subsidiaries had been served a lawsuit by Affin Bank for immediate repayment of a loan on 27 May 2021.

However, the company, only disclosed this publicly to shareholders 2 months later on 29 July, at the request of SGX.

This could amount to a potential offence under Section 203 of the Securities and Futures Act, which states that an offence is deemed to have been committed if material information was not disclosed to shareholders when it occurred.

Raffles Education Corp subsequently released a statement saying:

“The Board wishes to further update that the Company and the Borrowers have reached a settlement with Affin Bank on the amicable resolution of the matters under the Writs and understand that the Writs will be withdrawn upon the formalisation of such resolution.”

Commenting on the incident, National University of Singapore accounting professor Mak Yuen Teen called it an “inexcusable disclosure breach” and one of the “most shocking” he has seen.

Said Mak:

“In other words, the board seems to believe that disclosure is at its discretion or is a matter of business judgement. The board is wrong.”

He added:

“Investors who have bought shares from May 21 until before the company’s announcement, and arguably before that when letters of demand may have been issued, may understandably feel aggrieved. They may well have a basis for a civil liability action against those responsible for the lack of timely disclosure.”

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