Former grassroot leader fined $50,000 for building illegal floor

Former grassroot leader fined $50,000 for building illegal floor

SINGAPORE— In March 2019, media reported that an industrial building in Alexandra, The Alexcier, was found to have illegally built an extra floor on top of its 8th floor.

It turns out that the company which owns the 8th floor unit connected to the illegal additional floor is ZACD Investments, which comes under the ZACD Group. The ZACD Group founder and CEO is Stanley Yeo Choon Guan.

On Tuesday (28 Mar), Mr Yeo was fined S$50,000 by the court for his offenses.

The 51-year-old man had pleaded guilty to one charge each of authorizing the unapproved construction of the mezzanine floor and violating the Fire Safety Act, with two other charges taken into consideration.

According to the court, Yeo was a director and shareholder of several entities, including ZACD Investments, from 2008 to 2009. The premises were leased to ZACD Posh, another Yeo’s companies.

In 2008, Yeo sought to maximize the space in a top-floor unit with a high ceiling that was not being used.

He decided to add a mezzanine floor to provide additional space for his businesses. Yeo hired Communication Design International, an interior design and renovation company, to carry out the works, including constructing the floor.

Yeo and his wife attended several meetings on the construction, during which he failed to confirm whether the necessary approvals had been obtained from the authorities.

The mezzanine floor was completed in the first quarter of 2009 and had an area of about 500 sqm.

Display shelf door was installed to conceal the staircase to the mezzanine floor

Initially, the extra floor was used as a storage area and an office. However, Yeo later discovered that the floor was not authorized, and between 2014 and 2015, a display shelf door was installed to conceal the staircase to the mezzanine floor.

The hidden ninth floor contained living spaces with workstations, beds, a kitchen, and a meeting room.

Access to the floor was only possible by entering through an office pantry on the 8th floor, keying in a password at the disguised display shelf door, and climbing a flight of stairs to reach the 9th floor.

The hidden floor would have been kept secret if not for a whisleblower in February 2019. All 3 government agencies BCA, URA and SCDF said the extra floor has been illegally constructed.

After BCA ordered the demolition of the illegal floor, Mr. Yeo took responsibility for its removal at his own expense, and and put the unit up for sale.

Mr Yeo was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2015

According to his personal LinkedIn description, Mr Yeo founded ZACD in 2005 and has been actively “investing in and shaping the Industrial Property Development sector in Singapore for over 10 years”.

“He has transacted over SGD 1 billion in project sales alone, ” the post wrote.

It also stated that Mr Yeo is “active in charitable causes and was recently awarded the Public Service Medal in 2015 by the President of Singapore for his contributions to society”.

A check on the National Day Award site confirms that Mr Yeo was awarded the medal in his capacity as Vice-Chairman of Tampines North CCC (Tampines GRC).

Taken leave from grassroots position after the media exposed the illegally built floor at his premise

In 2017, Mr Yeo was appointed a member of the Tampines Town Council for a term of two years.

A November 2018 article published on LinkedIn listed him as the Chairman of Tampines North Citizens Consultative Committee, indicating that he had been promoted by PA, although the post has since been removed.

In the article, Mr Yeo also described himself as a “disciplined risk taker”. He said, “To do well in business, you need to know when to take calculated risks and when not to dive in recklessly.”

However, Mr Yeo had to take leave from his grassroots position after the media exposed the illegal extra floor built on his premises.

Sponsors production costs of MP’s book

In 2017, Tampines GRC MP Baey Yam Keng launched his own book, apparently with generous financial support from his grassroots leader Yeo.

In a Facebook post on May 2017, MP Baey mentioned the launch of his new book, “from the horse’s mouth”.

“Really excited to see the colour proof of my new book. It’s off for printing now,” he excitedly informed the public then. “In the meantime, pre-order is available…”

He then revealed that the production costs for his book was actually sponsored by “Mr Stanley Yeo, PBM” but added that the sale proceeds would go towards the setting up of Tampines North Bilingual Youth Kindle Award.

When the media approached MP Baey for comments with regard to the actions by Mr Yeo, MP Baey declined to talk about him.

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