SNEF president Stephen Lee steps down, to be succeeded by Robert Yap

Mr Stephen Lee (centre, right) handing over the Certificate of Registration of SNEF to Dr Robert Yap (centre, left) at the SNEF Council Meeting on July 30, 2014. From left to right: Dr Lim Suet Wun, Mr Douglas Foo, Mr Freddy Lam (front), Mr Robert Ya
Mr Stephen Lee (centre, right) handing over the Certificate of Registration of SNEF to Dr Robert Yap (centre, left) at the SNEF Council Meeting on July 30, 2014. From left to right: Dr Lim Suet Wun, Mr Douglas Foo, Mr Freddy Lam (front), Mr Robert Yap (back), Mr James Lee, Mr John Ng, Dr Robert Yap, Han Kwee Juan, Mr Roland Ng, Mr Stephen Lee, Mr Alexander C. Melchers, Mr Bob Tan, Mr Steven Goh (front), Mr Bennett Neo (back) and Mr Tan Hee Teck. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE NATIONAL EMPLOYERS FEDERATION       
Mr Stephen Lee (left) is stepping down as president of the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF). He will be succeeded by Dr Robert Yap with effect from Sept 1. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE NATIONAL EMPLOYERS FEDERATION
Mr Stephen Lee (left) is stepping down as president of the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF). He will be succeeded by Dr Robert Yap with effect from Sept 1. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE NATIONAL EMPLOYERS FEDERATION

SINGAPORE - After 26 years in the role, Mr Stephen Lee is stepping down as president of the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF).

He will be succeeded by Dr Robert Yap with effect from Sept 1. Dr Yap, the chairman and chief executive of supply chain management firm YCH Group, is currently one of SNEF's four vice-presidents.

Mr Lee, now 67 and the chairman of Singapore Airlines, was first elected president of SNEF in July 1988.

He has "played a key role in strengthening the employers' partnership with the Government and the labour movement", said SNEF in a statement on Wednesday.

During Mr Lee's time at SNEF, he steered Singapore employers through four economic downturns, wage reforms in 1986 and wage restructuring in 2004.

He also contributed in lifting the wages of low-income workers, extending the retirement age and implementing re-employment of older employees.

Apart from heading the employers' trade union, Mr Lee has also served in the National Wages Council since 1978, making him the longest-serving member.

A former Nominated Member of Parliament, Mr Lee was chairman of IE Singapore from 1995 to 2002 and chaired PSA Corporation from 2002 to 2005.

Mr Lee was president of the National Employers Council from 1977 to 1980, before the Council merged with the Singapore Employers Federation to form the SNEF in July 1980.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr Lee said: "When I became involved in the work of the National Employers Council in 1977 at 30 years old, I could not have imagined that I would stay in this area of work for 37 years. It has been a very rewarding and rich experience for me."

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