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Rich Capital's exec director quits, firm receives additional legal letters

RICH Capital's executive director Kuek Tee Meng has resigned from the property developer over "unresolved differences between himself and the board", the company said on Friday.

In a Singapore Exchange (SGX) filing, it cited Mr Kuek's resignation as being related to his recommendations to recover a S$2 million advance payment paid to Rich-Link Construction (RLC) and to terminate RLC as its main construction contractor.

Rich Capital said that Mr Kuek had sent an email to the independent directors on May 31, asking for permission to recover the S$2 million from RLC as soon as possible, within seven days of his email. His suggestion was not rejected, but the audit committee advised him to obtain a revised letter of undertaking from RLC.

Mr Kuek did not respond to the audit committee's request, and when asked to provide the basis for his suggestion to terminate RLC's contract, also did not provide the board with the requested analysis.

The board later discovered, after Mr Kuek's resignation, that he had withheld advice given to him by the project manager, stating that the proposed termination would not be in the company's best interest and might result in serious adverse legal and financial implications.

The company added that Mr Kuek had confirmed in writing to the board's independent directors on the date of his resignation that he "has no unresolved differences in opinion with the board of directors".

In a separate SGX filing on Friday, Rich Capital said that it has received two additional letters from a law firm appointed by its subsidiary's joint partner PT Karya Indo Batam (KIB). The first letter, dated June 21, demanded that the joint-venture company PT Oxley Karya Indo Batam (OKIB) terminate RLC as the main contractor for the project and seek a new main constructor to replace it.

A second letter on June 24 demanded that Rich Capital's subsidiary Oxley Batam Pte Ltd (OBPL) provide to OKIB the balance amount of the construction costs by July 1.

Rich Capital responded by letter on July 3, stating that OBPL and KIB are presently discussing the issues of repayment and continuation of the construction work. The company said that there is no merit in terminating RLC as contractor at this time, and no obligation to disburse the requested funds until the sale proceeds are fully utilised.

Rich Capital shares have been voluntarily suspended since June 27. They last traded at 0.3 Singapore cent on June 21.