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Goh Jin Hian resigns from New Silkroutes Group as chairman; finance director also quits

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Dr Goh, the medically-trained son of former Singapore prime minister Goh Chok Tong, was New Silkroutes' CEO till Oct 1.

NEW Silkroutes Group has announced that non-independent, non-executive chairman Goh Jin Hian and finance director William Teo Thiam Chuan have resigned.

At the same time, Dr Goh has also quit as independent director of cord-blood banking firm Cordlife Group with immediate effect.

Late Thursday night, healthcare provider New Silkroutes said Dr Goh stepped down as its chairman to "focus on personal matters and to pursue other interests".

Mr Teo, meanwhile, stepped down "to devote more time to his personal affairs", it added.

The resignations of the two New Silkroutes directors also came after the firm announced in the morning that its auditor Deloitte & Touche has given a disclaimer of opinion on the financial statements of the group for the financial year ended June 30.

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Dr Goh, the medically-trained son of former Singapore prime minister Goh Chok Tong, was New Silkroutes' chief executive officer till Oct 1, when he assumed the position of non-executive chairman.

He also quit as Cordlife’s chairman about a week ago, after Inter-Pacific Petroleum’s (IPP) judicial managers sued him in relation to an alleged breach of director’s duties.

At the time, he had remained as an independent director because the cessation of his role as chairman would allow him to give sufficient time and attention to the company’s affairs as an independent director, said Cordlife.

On Thursday night, Cordlife said Dr Goh was leaving the board “to devote more time to his personal affairs”.

New Silkroutes a fortnight ago disclosed that Dr Goh and Mr Teo were assisting the Commercial Affairs Department with investigations. The company said it understands that the alleged offence is false trading and market rigging pursuant to Section 197 of the Securities and Futures Act in view of past share buybacks and acquisitions of shares.

Also assisting with the investigation is Kelvyn Oo, who was the executive director and chief corporate officer of New Silkroutes until he left on Aug 1.

New Silkroutes had separately said last week that Dr Goh was suitable to continue as a board member despite the IPP litigation, because that is a civil suit against him and the allegations are without merit, based on his lawyers’ legal advice.

Shares of mainboard-listed New Silkroutes dropped 2.4 Singapore cents or 21.1 per cent to trade at nine cents as at 10.08am on Friday, while Cordlife shares were flat at S$0.35.

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