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Soon Lian says ex-chairman and CEO disagreed with executive directors

ALUMINIUM supplier Soon Lian on Monday said that Tony Tan Yee Chin resigned as company chairman and chief executive following differences in opinion he had with two executive directors regarding the execution of the group's strategic direction in the area of resource allocation and cost management.

The two executive directors, Tan Yee Ho and Tan Yee Leong, have since been appointed the company's chairman and chief executive respectively.

Soon Lian was responding to queries from the Securities Investors Association (Singapore), which was seeking elaboration on the “differences in views” between the parties.

The company also said that under the new leadership, the company will strengthen its partnerships with its stakeholders, scrutinise debt collection to manage cashflow, review purchasing strategies and ensure effective inventory management.

“With erratic market conditions, low historical oil prices, geopolitical challenges and currency fluctuations present in the foreseeable future, the company recognises that it is vital to prioritise stability before growth. The company will safeguard a healthy cash flow position and monitor market developments in demand and supply trends.”

It added that even though the group has witnessed and overcome a few financial crises - the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the 2007 global financial crisis and the 2015 oil price crash - the current impact of Covid-19 will be of greater magnitude.

The new leadership team plans to pursue stable and sustainable growth with a “moderate level of risk”. Singapore will remain as the group’s base, with opportunities to strengthen its support for local and regional marine and semiconductor customers.

“With eroding profit margins in steel shipbuilding and the industry’s sustained interest in achieving both cost and technical advantages, the company is optimistic that there will be more steel shipyards expanding into aluminium vessels and additional industry players in the local and regional market in the next decades.”

Apart from the marine industry, the company also has a presence in the precision engineering, aerospace, and oil-and-gas industries. 

The company’s subsidiaries in Malaysia, China and Taiwan mostly support semiconductor and precision-engineering applications.

With marine demand and the development of offshore wind farm equipment and liquefied natural gas (LNG)-related equipment projected to grow, there will be business growth opportunities for the group’s China and Malaysia subsidiaries, it said.

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