Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has commented on his facebook that the Singapore government will not allow any cover up for Phey Yew Kok, former PAP MP who recently surrendered himself after 35 years on the run from the law.
Mr Lee wrote, “We have maintained a clean and non-corrupt system in Singapore for half a century because we have zero tolerance for corruption. When we discover wrongdoing, we do not hesitate to act. We will not allow any cover up, even when it is awkward or embarrassing for the Government.
Perhaps not many of you remember Phey Yew Kok. He was a PAP MP and senior union leader. In 1979, he was charged with criminal breach of trust and misuse of union funds. The following year he absconded while on bail, and became a fugitive from justice.
Two days ago, Phey turned himself in at our Embassy in Bangkok, and today he returned to Singapore. Phey was charged in court this afternoon, and the law will have to take its course.”
In 1970, Phey was picked to head NTUC at the age of 35, as well as the Singapore Industrial Labour Organisation (Silo) and the Pioneer Industries Employees’ Union (PIEU).
Two years later, he was elected as a People’s Action Party Member of Parliament for Boon Teck.
But soon after taking on the role of NTUC chairman in 1979, he was investigated and, by the year end, was facing serious charges, four of which involved Criminal Breach of Trust. These include having misappropriated a $40,000 and a $25,000 cheque in 1975 while he was Silo general secretary.
Phey was alleged of using $18,000 of Silo’s funds to buy shares of Forward Supermarket in September 1978, without ministerial approval, therefore breaching the Trade Unions Act.
If found guilty of the charges, Phey faces up to seven years in jail along with a fine.