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Board of Directors

Mr. Desmond Wee Guan Oei
Non-Executive Chairman & Independent Director

Mr. Desmond Wee is an Independent Director of POPULAR and was appointed to the Board on 25 August 2012. He is the Chairman of the Board and a member of the Audit Committee. He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Nottingham in 1994 and is admitted as an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore and as a Barrister-at-law, Middle Temple in the United Kingdom. Mr. Wee is currently a Partner of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP and Head of the firm’s General Corporate Commercial and Employment and Benefits Practices. Mr. Wee specialises in mergers and acquisitions, general corporate law and labour law. Mr. Wee also has a particular focus in foreign direct investments into the emerging Asian economies, particularly in Indo-China. Mr. Wee also has prior experience as a commercial litigator as well as being the group regional legal counsel of a Hong Kong public listed company.

Mr. Chou Cheng Ngok
Group CEO & Executive Director

Mr. Chou Cheng Ngok is passionate about books, a passion which he picked up from his late father, Mr. Chou Sing Chu, the founder of POPULAR. Since his graduation in 1964 from the US with a Masters Degree in Political Science, he has been living in Hong Kong and working with POPULAR. With foresight in recognising the potential in books and stationery, Mr. Chou embarked on an aggressive plan to grow and develop the business when he took over the reins of management in the early 1980s. He has been instrumental in strategising the development of POPULAR into an established brand and an integrated group which today has operations in Singapore, Malaysia, Greater China, Canada and United Kingdom.

Ms. Lim Lee Ngoh
CEO, Malaysia & Singapore

Ms. Lim Lee Ngoh joined Popular Book Co. (Malaysia) Sdn. Accountant in 1986. Over her 31 years with Popular Book Co. (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., Ms. Lim held various positions, including Retail Manager and General Manager, before being promoted to Executive Director of Popular Book Co. (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. in May 1995. Ms. Lim is currently the Chief Executive Officer responsible for Malaysia and Singapore operations. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting, Finance and Business) Degree from the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Mr. Poon Chi Wai, Ponch
CEO, Greater China

Mr. Ponch Poon joined the POPULAR Group in October 2009 as the CEO of Greater China. Mr. Poon is a qualified accountant who graduated with double majors in Commerce and Computer Science from the Simon Fraser University in Canada. Mr. Poon has 31 years of experience in financial management and general business management, and held various management positions in multinational and listed companies in Canada, Hong Kong and The People’s Republic of China (“PRC”). Upon his return to Hong Kong from Canada, Mr. Poon joined Pfizer in 1996 as their regional Finance Director, and was based in PRC for 5 years. Mr. Poon subsequently worked in Pearson Education for 7 years, where he held the positions of Chief Financial Officer of the Asia Region, and Managing Director of Hong Kong and China.

Mrs. Lim Soon Tze
Independent Director

Mrs. Lim Soon Tze is an Independent Director of POPULAR. An Economics and English (Hons) graduate, she started her career in education as a teacher in Raffles Girls’ Secondary School in Singapore, and went on to become Head of Department and Vice-Principal in National Junior College, and Principal of Anderson Secondary School before her posting to the Ministry of Education Headquarters.

In the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Lim’s appointments included Senior Inspector of Schools, Deputy Director of Primary and Secondary Schools, Director of Curriculum Planning Division which she set up, Director of Curriculum Development Institute of Singapore (CDIS), Director of Educational Technology, and Director of Schools. She played a major role in drawing up the Ministry of Education’s first Masterplan for IT in Education and set up the Educational Technology Division to implement the Masterplan in schools. During her period as Director of Schools from 1997 until her retirement from the Education Service in April 2002, she implemented the School Cluster structure as an innovative way of improving school management. She also introduced a computerised self-appraisal system (the School Excellence Model) to appraise the effectiveness of schools.

Mrs. Lim has sat on various bodies such as the National Institute of Education Council, the National Computer Board, National Library Board and was Chairman of the Governing Board of SEAMEO Regional Language Centre. For her contribution to education, she has received several National Day Awards, culminating in the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2001.

Mr. David Chia Tian Bin
Independent Director

Mr. David Chia Tian Bin was appointed as an Independent Director of POPULAR on 25 August 2012. He is the Chairman of the Audit Committee. Mr. Chia is currently a director of AXIA Equity Pte. Ltd. which provides corporate and business advisory services to companies in Singapore and the region. Prior to this, he was actively involved in the private equity and venture capital industry in Asia as a general partner engaged in direct investments in the region. Mr. Chia has over 30 years of financial, corporate and advisory experience and has served as a director on the boards of numerous private and listed companies. He holds a Bachelor of Accountancy (Honours) from the National University of Singapore. He is a Fellow Chartered Accountant of Singapore and a member of the Singapore Institute of Directors.

Prof. Christopher Chia
Independent Director

Prof. Christopher Chia was appointed as an Independent Director of POPULAR on 6 September 2017. He is currently a Professor (Practice) at National University of Singapore Business School. Prof. Chia has over 30 years of management, information technology experience and has served as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and/or Director on the Boards of various private companies as well as Government Institutions in Singapore. He is the founding Chief Executive of the National Library Board (“NLB”) and of the Media Development Authority (“MDA”). He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Operation and Control from the University of Salford in the United Kingdom and went on to attain a Master of Science Degree and a Doctorate in Computation.