camila June 29, 2021

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – ecoWise Holdings on Tuesday (June 29) said it has reinstated the duties of all suspended staff including deputy chief executive Cao Shixuan, who was put on a leave of absence after a June 15 dispute led the company’s chief executive Lee Thiam Seng to change the locks of its server rooms.

The move is “necessary to ensure continued operations of the group’s business”, ecoWise said in a bourse filing before the market opened, and in line with the requirements in SGX RegCo’s compliance notice served last Friday.

The group said it will also comply with SGX RegCo’s directive to appoint at least two new independent directors (IDs), commission an internal audit and an audit of its H1 2021 results, as well as form a new auditing committee (AC).

ecoWise said that in accordance with requirements of the notice, Mr Lee and Mr Cao will remain in their executive positions as both are familiar with the operational issues of the group. Their duties will be directly overseen by the company’s AC, including in the interim period pending formation of the new committee.

ecoWise also said it intends to implement additional safeguards to ensure the continuance of its ongoing operations and to avoid breaching its payment obligations.

All payments made by the group must now be reviewed and approved by the entire board, which comprises Mr Lee, Mr Cao and lead ID Er Kwong Wah. In the event of disagreements, the payments must be reviewed by the group’s sponsor Zico Capital, with Mr Er as the final arbiter in his capacity as lead ID, and thereafter together with members of the new AC after it is formed.

After the formation of the new AC, all payments by ecoWise will be validated by the company’s statutory auditors RSM Chio Lim LLP to ensure that such payments are made in the normal course of the group’s business and for their intended purposes.

These safeguards will remain until all directives in SGX RegCo’s notice of compliance have been satisfactorily completed and until all material findings, if any, have been addressed, said ecoWise.

Trading in the group’s securities will remain suspended along with any fundraising activities, it added, until there is clarity on matters under review.