Ex-NTUC chairman and MP Phey Yew Kok charged after 35 years on the run: All about the case

Former MP Phey Yew Kok, who was once one of Singapore's most powerful unionists, has come out of hiding after 35 years on the run.
Former MP Phey Yew Kok, who was once one of Singapore's most powerful unionists, has come out of hiding after 35 years on the run.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Former NTUC chairman and Member of Parliament Phey Yew Kok finally returned to Singapore, after 35 years on the run.

Phey, 81, had jumped bail on Dec 31, 1979, to escape charges for misuse of union funds. Having turned himself in at the Singapore Embassy in Bangkok on June 22, 2015, he was then escorted back home by Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau officers the following night.

Phey pleaded guilty to 12 charges on Friday (Jan 22).

 

These included committing 10 counts of criminal breach of trust, one count of abetting the fabrication of false evidence to a public servant and one count of failing to attend court when ordered to by a judicial officer.

Phey consented for the remaining 22 charges to be taken into consideration when sentencing.

Trace how the case unfolded through stories from The Straits Times archives:


Phey quits 3 top posts



This article was first published in The Straits Times on Dec 4, 1979

Trade Union leader and MP for Boon Teck, Mr Phey Yew Kok, has resigned from three top union posts because of investigations over the past six months into his activities.

He has also indicated his intention to quit as chairman of the National Trades Union Congress. NTUC president, Mr C. V. Devan Nair, yesterday told a press conference that Mr Phey, 45, had tendered his resignation as general secretary of the Singapore Industrial Labour Organisation, the Pioneer Industries Employees' Union and the Singapore Air Transport Workers' Union.

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Phey faces six charges



This article was first published in The Straits Times on Dec 11, 1979

Trade union leader Phey Yew Kok stood stiffly and stared into the distance as six charges against him were read to him in a magistrate's court yesterday.

The 45-year-old chairman of the National Trades Union Congress faces four charges of criminal breach of trust of a total of $82,520 and two charges under the Trade Unions Act. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

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Supermarts in Phey case



This article was first published in The New Nation on Dec 11, 1979

These are the two supermarkets mentioned in a court case involving trade unionist Phey Yew Kok.

Phey was charged yesterday with using $17,745 of union funds to buy shares of the Forward Supermarket Pte Ltd in September last year without the approval of the Minister. The name of the company was changed to Savewell Supermarket Pte Ltd last December.

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Missing Phey gets the sack: Warrant of arrest issued against him



This article was first published in The Straits Times on Jan 8, 1980

NTUC president Mr C. V. Devan Nair yesterday announced the NTUC's intention to sack Phey Yew Kok from all posts he holds in the trade union movement following his failure to turn up in court in the morning when his case involving over $100,000 in union funds was to be mentioned.

In a statement, made a few hours after being told of Phey's failure to appear in court and the issue of a warrant of arrest against Phey, Mr Nair said it would appear that Phey had jumped bail.

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Appeal for info on Phey



This article was first published in The Straits Times on Jan 9, 1980

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau has appealed for information on the whereabouts of former union leader and MP for Boon Teck, Phey Yew Kok.

Phey, 45, who faces six charges involving over $100,000 in union funds, jumped bail and a warrant for his arrest was issued on Monday after he failed to appear in court when his case was to be mentioned.

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Phey now formally stripped of union posts



This article was first published in The Straits Times on Jan 9, 1980

The NTUC and three of its affiliate unions yesterday stripped Phey Yew Kok of all his union posts.

He was formally sacked during emergency sessions of the central committee of the NTUC and executive councils of the Singapore Industrial Labour Organisation, Pioneer Industries Employees' Union and the Singapore Air Transport workers' Union.

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Phey Yew Kok 'is still on wanted list'



This article was first published in The Straits Times on Jan 18, 1984

Phey Yew Kok, the former trade union leader, is still a wanted man. Home Affairs Minister Chua Sian Chin told the House yesterday that "the warrant of arrest against Phey is still very much in force."

"Phey Yew Kok remains on the wanted list of all Interpol affiliated countries, and the alert for his arrest on sight is still on."

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Phey told us he couldn't bolt - he was under 24-hour watch, say bailors in show-cause hearing



This article was first published in The Straits Times on Feb 27, 1980

Former trade union leader Phey Yew Kok had assured his two bailors that he could not escape facing the six charges against him even if he wanted to because he was under 24-hour police surveillance, a magistrate heard yesterday.

Both bailors, Mr Phang Tai Mun and Mr Kam Weng Nam, said this when they were asked to show cause why their bail money of $50,000 each should not be forfeited.

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The rise and fall of Phey Yew Kok: The best and worst time



This article was first published in The Straits Times on Feb 2, 1980

He climbed from the humble job of an office clerk to that of a leader of Singapore's three "millionaire" unions - Silo, PIEU and Satu. And almost overnight, he plummeted from his pinnacle as the Republic's second most powerful trade unionist to the depths of a fugitive. This special feature traces the union career of Phey Yew Kok and reveals a multi-faceted man. 

When Phey Yew Kok reached the peak of his trade union career in 1970 on becoming the president of the National Trades Union Congress, he also experienced bad moments in his union life.

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CPIB looked for Phey in Bangkok



This article was first published in The Straits Times on March 17, 1989

Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau officers had gone to Bangkok in an attempt to locate and bring back fugitive Phey Yew Kok, even though Singapore did not have an extradition treaty with Thailand, Parliament heard yesterday.

Home Affairs and Law Minister S. Jayakumar also disclosed that Thai authorities had even gone so far as to raid places that Phey might have stayed at. He said this to emphasise to Non-Constituency MP Lee Siew Choh that the Government did everything necessary to search for and apprehend Phey.

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