Last week, Phey Yew Kok popped up in the news again after turning himself in at the Singapore Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. Officers from the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) then escorted him back to Singapore.
I knew some things would come out of the woodwork after the death of Lee Kuan Yew, but I must say I did not think the first would be Phey Yew Kok. The former NTUC president and Member of Parliament (MP) Phey Yew Kok has been out of Singapore since 1980 when he ran after facing charges of Criminal Breach of Trust. Facing four counts of criminal breach of trust involving $83,000 and two charges “under the Trades Unions Act for investing $18,000 of trade union money in a private supermarket without the approval of the minister”, Mr. Phey then mysteriously disappeared.
Many questions still remains about his disappearance. Back then he was a rising star in the PAP and ruled the trade union with an iron-first, so why did he do what he was accused of? If he managed to get out of Singapore, why come back now just a month after Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s death? Did he made any deal with Mr. Lee Kuan Yew (his passport was never taken away from him) that’s went away with the man’s death? And was there any deal now before his surrender to the embassy in Bangkok?
I must admit, I barely remember Phey Yew Kok before last week. The Singapore government has been very good at making the whole saga disappear from the public domain and if not for the constant questions of deceased former opposition MP, Mr. J B Jeyaretnam, the case might have been forgotten altogether. However that is either here or there.
The case is still remembered by many Singaporeans and they have many questions about the whole sordid episode. Now that the man has resurfaced, perhaps those questions can now finally be answered.