Friday, June 26, 2015

Phey Yew Kok, the former MP and union leader

Personally, I did not know Phey well but I have worked with him in the airlines union (SATU the predecessor of SIASU) in the 1970s when he was the president.
He was appointed the president of NTUC in 1970.
Phey was also the People’s Action Party’s MP for Boon Teck Constituency from 1972 to 1980.
I was shocked when I read he was arrested in December 1979 for malpractices in SILO and PIEU. He was the general secretary of both unions.
Phey jumped bail and was on the run until now, 35 years later at the age of 81, turned himself in at the Singapore Embassy in Bangkok.

As a leader and unionist, Phey was outstanding. He was a good listener and a man of action. One would feel confident working under Phey as he would support his staff and comrades.
Because of Phey I came to know the late Devan Nair who was the general secretary of NTUC and an MP back then. Devan was also an excellent union leader.

I don't know what is going to happen to Phey but he will definitely have to face the consequence of his actions. He will appear in court on 23 July.


Anonymous said...

Find this sudden emergence of Phey difficult to comprehend. After all these years, you mean to say that the Govt didi not know where he was all this while? Francis Seow was tailed overseas, even with his foto taken with a woman. His fight was also published.

Lau chiau said...

When I joined the union, I received a paper membership card
with his signature along with a welcome letter signed by him..
.. of course its just a stamp. Some admin clerk happily stamping

There was a joke about how he started SILO, Co-ops and before he
absconded, he built the BIG SPLASH. People older than 55 will recall this.

Anonymous said...

At about the same time when Phey fled, there was a rich old man who was widely known as the Abalone King. He had absconded with an unsecured loan. His guarantor was a govt official and apparently, he had gone into hiding in Taiwan and was on the Interpol watch list. One day, he surrendered. Life with the underground overseas was unbearable. He owned up,faced the full brunt of the law and went to jail. PYK's story pales in comparison. Sounds like he had a good life abroad and his timing is too good to be coincidental.