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When the masks came off: An exposé into financial misdoings in Singapore

Julie O’Connor is on a mission to right investment wrongs in Singapore and Australia – and she’s willing to go very public about the ills of the local financial scene.

“I would like to say, that I harboured dreams of being an author, but frankly that wouldn’t be true,” she tells Maritime CEO.

In reality the book came to life when her husband purchased 4% of Strategic Marine in 2011, an investment that went badly wrong.

“My story is not about money lost, it’s about poor corporate governance, lack of transparency, forgeries, threats, false information and much more,” she says, adding: “I never thought in a million years that I would become embroiled in the situation that I have found myself in, a David having to stand up to the financial and legal might of the Singapore Goliaths.

You can read the background to O’Connor’s story and a timeline of events here.

She has written to a prime minister, various authorities, audit committees, CEOs, board members and Singapore banks, encouraging them to either facilitate or undertake an investigation into the matters of concern which she has raised.

“Although, various processes are underway, from my perspective things are moving too slowly,” O’Connor says.

Following her submissions of concerns to the Ezra and Triyards audit committee chairpersons, she watched in dismay as they and other board Members of Ezra and Triyards Holdings resigned from their roles, having provided no feedback on her concerns.

The book entitled When the masks came off has taken on a life of its own and continues to be a work in progress.

“I want people to read the story and say, ‘that’s unbelievable’, ” the author says.

O’Connor is demanding change. “Corporate legislation needs to be changed,” she says, “and, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Singapore Exchange need to be become the organisations that much of the populous aspire them to be. Companies whether private or listed need to be more transparent and their directors and executives held to account for their actions.”

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