SINGAPORE (Apr 16): Datapulse Technology on Monday morning filed its response to the views of shareholder and corporate governance advocate Professor Mak Yuen Teen (MYT) of the NUS Business School.

Full reponse from Datapulse Tech

Professor Mak's blog article

This week's The Edge Singapore carries Prof Mak's blog article as well as a shorter response from Datapulse which we have published in full below.


Datapulse responds to Mak Yuen Teen

The board of directors of Datapulse Technology refers to the article written by Professor Mak Yuen Teen (MYT) entitled “Nothing good-looking about Datapulse’s diversification plan” and wishes to make some clarifications in relation to certain matters raised in the article as follows:

  1. The acquisition of Goldprime Realty and the 10% private placement to Lian Beng Group were undertaken by the previous board and will be looked into by Lee & Lee within their scope of work under the Internal Controls Review.
  2. Regarding the trademarks issue mentioned by MYT, the board wishes to clarify that based on the company’s current findings, as part of the continuous due diligence process which the board has previously outlined will be undertaken during the 12-month post-acquisition period, there is no change to the company’s understanding of the ownership of trademarks, either by Wayco Manufacturing (M), Way Co or Way Trading (M). Nevertheless, the board will continue to review and monitor whether there may be material risk or exposure or otherwise material adverse findings relating to Wayco’s business that if not satisfactorily rectified may trigger the buy-back option given to the company.
  3. We note MYT’s comments on the proposed diversification into the investment business. We see these as lop-sided comments. Suffice it to say, at this juncture, that the board intends to invest prudently to achieve risk-adjusted returns above market benchmark. We are all aware of the paltry returns if we just keep all our cash in the bank.
  4. On a broader note, MYT’s suggestions and recommendations appear to be beyond his expertise, given with a gloss of biasness, and do not give the appearance of impartiality.
  5. Apart from his lack of trust in the current board, as expressed in his article and which appears to be based on his opinion rather than concrete evidence, MYT has never addressed why the proposed new directors should be accepted, the basis for recommending shareholders to appoint the proposed new board, and how conclusive it is that the Wayco business is bad and will fail.
  6. MYT has admitted to his long association with Ng Boon Yew (NBY) and speaks highly of him. He has, however, stopped short of what he is best at, that is, giving his professional views and comments on NBY’s track record as executive chairman and controlling shareholder of Raffles Campus, which ran into multimillion-dollar losses since incorporation and has caused a Middle East fund to take a massive write-off. The public records of Raffles Campus reveal this. He has also been conspicuously silent on the potential conflicts of interest involved in Datapulse’s investment in and subsequent disposal of Raffles Campus.
  7. While he questions the independence of the current independent directors, he appears to have omitted, perhaps inadvertently, commenting on the independence of the proposed new independent directors even though potential issues relating to their close relationships and connections have been highlighted by the company to shareholders for their due consideration.
  8. MYT is supportive of Intan Ng without mentioning whether he has given due consideration to her competence and ability to manage the company, in particular her previous departure from the company as executive director and finance director under apparently contentious circumstances, including having to issue an apology letter to a fellow director in 2014, well after the company was listed, and not on a private matter but on matters related to the company.

In The Edge Singapore cover story this week (Issue 826), "Dilemma for Datapulse shareholders", we discuss the company's diversification plans and the scrutiny it has drawn from SGX ever since they were announced. Get your copy at your favourite newsstands now, or: 

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