Several video snippets from the Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) press conference on May 6, 2021 featuring its chief executive officer (CEO) Ng Yat Chung taking "umbrage" at a reporter's question sent the internet into a tizzy.
For the uninitiated, you might be wondering who Ng Yat Chung is and here are some facts about him:
1. He was an SAF scholar.
Ng is an alumnus of Victoria School and Hwa Chong Junior College.
He then received a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Overseas Scholarship in 1980 and graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in engineering from Christ's College, Cambridge University.
2. He has three Master's degrees.
Following which, Ng went on to obtain three Master's degrees:
- Master of Arts (Mathematics) from Cambridge University
- Master of Military Art and Science (General Studies) from Command & General Staff College, USA, and
- Master of Business Administration from Stanford University
3. He was the fifth Chief of Defence.
Ng succeeded Lim Chuan Poh as the Chief of Defence Force (CDF) in 2003.
He was the CDF from July 2003 to April 2007, with the rank of Lieutenant-General, before Desmond Kuek took over from him in 2007.
Prior to that, he was the Chief of Army from 2000 to 2003.
"He was given the Meritorious Service Medal (Military) in 2007, among many other public service awards," a Straits Times media release in 2016 wrote.
4. He was a senior executive at Temasek Holdings.
He held different portfolios with Temasek Holdings between 2007 and 2011 after retiring from the military.
He had been the Head of Energy & Resources, Co-Head of Australia & New Zealand & Co-Head of Strategy during these four years in Temasek.
5. He was the former CEO of Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) prior to his role in SPH.
Prior to him joining SPH, Ng was the group president and CEO of Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) from October 2011 to June 2016.
Ng was the CEO for five years and his last four years saw NOL accumulate more than S$1.5 billion in losses, although it has managed to reduce its losses year-on-year.
In mid-2016, NOL was sold to France's CMA CGM, the world's third-largest shipping line and was delisted from the Singapore Exchange in late June that year.
6. He has been the Chief Executive Officer/ Executive Director at SPH since Sep. 1, 2017.
On May 26, 2017, SPH announced Ng as its new CEO, with him to take over the group from Sep. 1 that year.
According to ST, back when SPH made this announcement, its chairman Lee Boon Yang said:
“I am confident that Yat Chung will provide far-sighted and effective leadership for SPH. He will work closely with deputy CEO Anthony Tan and the Group Management Team to tap new ideas and initiatives to steer SPH to greater heights.”
Ng also said that he saw "vast opportunities that can be reaped" despite the challenges ahead and added that he was involved in the SPH's decision to enter healthcare and private nursing home sector with its acquisition of Orange Valley as a board member.
On May 7, 2021, SPH announced that its media business will be transferred to a not-for-profit company.
It said that its operating revenue had halved in the past five years due largely to a decline in print advertising and print subscription revenue.
Further cost measures will impact the company's ability to maintain quality journalism, it added.
SPH said that it recorded its first-ever loss of S$11.4 million for the financial year ended Aug. 31, 2020.
If not for the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), the loss would have been S$39.5 million.
For the six months ended Feb. 28, 2021, the pre-tax profit loss would have been S$9.7 million, if not for the JSS grant.
SPH said that it approached the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) with a restructuring proposal.
In response, MCI said that it supports the proposal put forth by SPH.
You can read more about the QNA segment at the press conference here:
Top image via Wikipedia and via ST's video screen grab