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Tiong Seng CEO and unit director to step down, and will defend charges in LTA graft case

TIONG Seng Holdings said on Friday evening that its chief executive officer as well as the director of Tiong Seng Contractors (Private) Limited (TSCPL), who are involved in a corruption case, will relinquish their executive roles from July 31. They intend to defend the charges brought against them in relation to past business dealings with Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA). 

CEO and executive director Pek Lian Guan and Tiong Seng Contractors director Pay Teow Heng were each charged on Friday on two counts of abetting to conspire to give gratification in the form of loans to Henry Foo Yung Thye, a former deputy group director of the LTA. They had allegedly done so in order to advance the business interest of TSCPL.

No charges were filed against TSCPL or any other companies in the group.

Mr Pek and Mr Pay are currently on bail and have told the board that they deny having committed the alleged offences. They intend to take "rigorous steps" to defend the charges. Their relinquishing of their executive roles is pending the outcome of the cases. 

Pay Sim Tee, an executive director of Tiong Seng Holdings and an executive director of TSCPL, will replace Mr Pek as the CEO of the company and managing director of TSCPL from Aug 1. He has more than 40 years of experience with the group.

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Mr Pek will be retained as advisor to the group and Mr Pay will be an operational consultant to Tiong Seng Civil Engineering for a year, so that the group can tap their knowledge and expertise.

Their scope of duties and renumeration will be decided by the board. Both men will also step down from all their board appointments within the group.

Tiong Seng said it does not expect Mr Pek and Mr Pay's relinquishment of their executive roles to have a major impact on its business as the company has a team of long-standing senior management staff with a strong track record.

Tiong Seng has requested for the lifting of its trading halt, which it called on Friday before the market opened. Its shares last closed at 15.2 Singapore cents on Thursday.

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