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BM Mobility drops financial controller, two months into the job

MAINBOARD-LISTED BM Mobility has given its group financial controller the boot, not long after his controversial appointment to the post.

Lim Gwo Bin was let go on Tuesday, the board disclosed in filings on Thursday evening. It did not say why it was terminating his employment, but noted that it took place during Mr Lim's probation period.

There are no unresolved differences in opinion on material matters between Mr Lim, 55, and the directors, the board said, nor any other matters that should be brought to light before shareholders.

"In the meantime, the company will outsource its accounting and finance function while looking for a qualified candidate," said the board in a statement signed by chief executive Tay Wee Kwang.

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The appointment of Mr Lim, who lives in Malaysia, raised eyebrows at the Singapore Exchange (SGX) at the outset. Mr Lim joined on Feb 8, replacing BM Mobility's former general manager for finance and administration, Wilson Chua Yoong Hai, who had left "to pursue other career opportunities".

Mr Lim applied for the job, which had been advertised, BM Mobility told the bourse operator when queried in February. The group said it was necessary to have a Malaysia-based financial controller, as the market across the Causeway "now contributes significantly to revenue and operational costs".

The SGX had asked, among other questions, why BM Mobility decided to appoint a financial controller living in Malaysia when neither its audit committee nor its operations are there. It also wanted to know how the nominating committee came to know Mr Lim and who recommended him to the company.

A Malaysian chartered accountant, Mr Lim had previously been the group chief financial officer of Malaysian developer Mentari Group until end-2018, according to the original notice of his appointment.

BM Mobility later amended his curriculum vitae to say that he left Mentari Group in January 2017 and was most recently chief financial officer at a private health and wellness products company in Malaysia.

BM Mobility will make more announcements once a suitable replacement for Mr Lim has been identified, the board of directors added in its latest statement.

The company, which was previously known as Ziwo Holdings, is on the SGX watch-list and last closed on Apr 2 at 0.7 Singapore cent. It now deals in electric vehicles and personal mobility devices, in a pivot away from its old raw materials production business in China.