SINGAPORE (July 30): Tay Kah Chye, chairman of Asiatic Group (Holdings), wasted no time in addressing an issue that has plagued the company for the last couple of months when he kicked off its annual general meeting on July 26. “The board and the company feel that shareholders’ questions should be answered at the appropriate venue such as this AGM, as opposed to [being] debated in public. We feel that [the latter] is not in the interest of shareholders and the company,” he said in his opening remarks at the AGM.

The remarks were clearly directed at Jerry Low, a shareholder of the company, who has been criticising Asiatic for its poor financial performance in open letters and blog posts since early May. Among other things, Low has raised questions about the performance of Asiatic’s power plants, the manner in which they were funded, and the high remuneration of the company’s directors. On July 20, Low was hit with a cease-and-desist letter from Asiatic for allegedly defamatory remarks. Three days later, Low was hit with another cease-and-desist letter, this time from the three Tan brothers who helm the company — managing director George Tan Boon Kheng, executive director Tan Boon Siang and Tan Boon Yew, who was an executive director but stepped down at the AGM.

Main image, from left: Asiatic’s executive director Boon Siang, former executive director Boon Yew, financial controller Tan Sian Leong, managing director George and chairman Tay listen as Low speaks at the AGM on July 26

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