PAP's Desmond Choo quits labour movement, joins private sector

FORMER People's Action Party Hougang candidate Desmond Choo is leaving the labour movement for the private sector.

Mr Choo, 35, is the National Trades Union Congress' (NTUC) deputy director of industrial relations and the National Transport Workers' Union's (NTWU) deputy executive secretary. He will leave NTUC at the end of this month.

Yesterday, he told The Straits Times that resigning from the labour movement was not an easy decision and that he remains committed to workers' causes.

"But I thought that after spending most of my working life in the civil service and some of it in NTUC, I should get more exposure in the private sector," said the former police scholarship holder who joined NTUC in 2010. He has found a job in the private sector but declined to give more details.

Yesterday, NTUC secretary-general Lim Swee Say praised him for serving workers and the labour movement with dedication. "We thank him for his invaluable service and commitment in pushing for workers' interests and welfare. We respect his decision to pursue other career interests and wish him well."

The PAP member, who lost twice to the Workers' Party in Hougang, in the 2011 general election and last year's by-election, remains the grassroots adviser to the ward, where he is still active. His departure comes less than a year after another losing PAP candidate from the last general election left NTUC.

Former deputy secretary-general Ong Ye Kung resigned last year and joined Keppel Corp this year. Mr Choo was one of two unionists who succeeded him at NTWU.