History & Background

The Silent Foundation was founded on 14 July 2010 by Mr Teng Ngiek Lian. It is a registered charity in Singapore.

Mr Teng was born in Terengganu, Malaysia. After completing his O levels at the age of 18, he left school and started work. He took part-time work to support his studies and eventually qualified as a chartered certified accountant and a chartered secretary. He climbed his corporate career first as a clerk, later bookkeeper, accountant, financial comptroller, COO and finally a CEO. In 1996, he fulfilled his dream to manage his own business and founded an asset management business called Target Asset Management.

In 2010, at the age of 60, Mr Teng founded The Silent Foundation. He felt that he benefited tremendously from society all these years and it is his duty to pay back.

Funded by the Teng family, the Foundation today has an Endowment Capital Sum of S$50 million.

The foundation is named The Silent Foundation as it is dedicated to assist the ‘silent sufferers’. Silent sufferers refer to those who have been overlooked by society and tend to be voiceless. This is in line with Mr Teng’s professional work as he practices value investing which focuses on the overlooked and unloved sectors.

Board of Directors

Executive Directors

Mr Teng Ngiek Lian, Founder & Executive Chairman


Mr Matthew Teng Wen Lien

Mr Matthew Teng is an investment manager at Target Asset Management. He graduated in 2001 from the University of Melbourne. He is passionate about animal and environment protection.

Non-Executive Independent Directors

Ms Stacy Choong Hui Hui

Ms Stacy Choong is currently a Partner with Withers KhattarWong LLP. Prior to that, Stacy was a Managing Director of the wealth advisory team in one of the top global private banks. She advised High Net Worth clients on succession planning and wealth structuring. Stacy worked for more than 15 years in legal practice at one of the largest law firms in Singapore. At the law firm, she specialised in providing advice to private foundations, charities and non-profit organizations in tax, operational, regulatory and compliance matters.


Mr Simon Tensing de Cruz

Mr Simon Tensing de Cruz is currently Singapore’s Non-Resident Ambassador to Ukraine (resident in Singapore). Mr de Cruz spent 35 years in the foreign service and served as ambassador in the Philippines, Myanmar and Russia. He was also Singapore’s High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, resident in Singapore. Since leaving the foreign service in 2012, Mr de Cruz has been involved in several volunteer welfare organisations (VWOs) and is also a District Councillor for the South East Community Development Council (SE CDC).


Mr Surinder Kathpalia

Mr Surinder Kathpalia was until December 2014 Managing Director and Head of ASEAN & South Asia at Standard &Poor’s, having co-founded its Singapore office in October 1996. Surinder is a member of the Board of Governors’ Audit and Governance Committees of the United World College of South East Asia and a member of the Advisory Council of the Indian Institute of Finance. Following his retirement from S&P at the end of 2014, Surinder stepped down as a member of the Executive Committee of the Investment Management Association of Singapore, and the boards of directors of S&P’s subsidiaries in Singapore and Malaysia. He was previously a member of the advisory board of the Corporate Governance & Financial Reporting Centre at the National University of Singapore and sat on the board of Standard & Poor’s Fund Services (HK) Ltd. Prior to S&P, Surinder worked as an investment banker with HSBC and as a Principal at EY. Surinder is a UK Chartered Accountant, a FCA of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Singapore and holds a Masters degree in Management (Sloan Fellow) from the London Business School.


Dr Nafis M. Hanif

Dr. Nafis M. Hanif is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Singapore Management University. She obtained her doctorate from the School of Law, University of Sydney. Her Honours and Masters degrees were in Sociology from the National University of Singapore. Nafis researches in the field of criminology, focusing on the comparative organization of criminal enterprise, the illicit political economy, and crime control strategies and policies within the Southeast Asian context. In 2011, Nafis was conferred the Australia Day Awards by the National Council of Women of New South Wales to recognise her research contributions as a female criminologist.


Mr Wah Geok Sum

Mr Wah Geok Sum is currently the Chief Operating officer of Target Asset Management Pte Ltd. Prior to that, he was the COO of Fullerton Fund Management (a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings) between 2007-2014. He was with Schroder Investment Management Group from 1996 to 2007 in various senior capacities, including as Regional Head of Operations and Internal Audit for Asia-Pac Ex-Japan. Between 1990 to 1996, he was the Regional Head of Operations and Finance at Morgan Grenfell Investment Management Asia and worked closely with Mr Teng Ngiek Lian. Geok Sum is an MBA and also holds a Graduate Diploma in Public Accountancy from McGill University in Canada. He is a FCA with the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants and a member of the CPA Canada.


Our Staff

Ms Esther Heng

Ms Esther Heng joined The Silent Foundation in 2016 and is the foundation's only full-time staff. Prior to this, she worked in the non-profit sector where she supported high net worth donors in their philanthropic giving within Singapore. Her areas of interest include social issues, human rights and international development.