Woh Hup chairman Yong Nam Seng dies aged 92

Chairman Mr Yong Nam Seng (left) and executive director Mr Eugene Yong Kon Yoon.
Chairman Mr Yong Nam Seng (left) and executive director Mr Eugene Yong Kon Yoon.PHOTO: WOHHUPTRUST.ORG.SG

SINGAPORE - Construction firm Woh Hup's chairman Yong Nam Seng died on Saturday (Jan 16) aged 92.

Mr Yong took over the reins of the Singapore-based company from his father Yong Yit Lin in the 1950s. The older Mr Yong, who was originally from China, founded Woh Hup in 1927 after moving from Malaysia to Singapore in pursuit of government construction tenders. He was fatally shot on May 25, 1950.

Under Mr Yong Nam Seng's leadership, the family-run firm Woh Hup built several Singapore icons, including Golden Mile Complex in 1974, Great World City in 1997 and Gardens by the Bay.

It also completed the construction of Changi Airport's Jewel in Dec 2018 in a joint venture with Japanese firm Obayashi.

It has over the years garnered multiple awards for its work, including 344 safety awards since 1993. Woh Hup has also been awarded 33 Green Mark awards by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) for achievements in environmental sustainability, and 64 BCA awards for construction excellence.

A Bloomberg report in 2018 estimated that the Yong family was worth about US$600 million (S$840 million).

The firm has not shied away from doing good, setting up Woh Hup Trust in 2011 to support the integration of elderly and under-privileged children into the society.

It marked its 90th anniversary with a donation of S$1.5 million to the President's Challenge in 2017, where Mr Yong Nam Seng met then-President Tony Tan at a cheque presentation event.

Mr Yong Nam Seng leaves behind two sons, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Two of his children - a son and a daughter - are deceased.

Both of his sons are in the family business. Mr Yong Tiam Yoon is deputy chairman of Woh Hup while Mr Eugene Yong is the executive director.

Mr Yong Nam Seng's wake is being held at 262 Holland Road on Sunday (Jan 17).

The cortege leaves on Monday for Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery for a private cremation ceremony at 3pm to be attended by immediate family members.