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Stephen Lee to step down as President of SNEF

The former NMP - the longest serving member of the National Wages Council - will be succeeded by Singapore National Employers Federation Vice-President Dr Robert Yap on Sept 1.

SINGAPORE: After 26 years at the helm, Mr Stephen Lee will step down as President of the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF).

Mr Lee, 67, will vacate the post on Aug 31, and will be succeeded on Sept 1 by Dr Robert Yap, one of the four current Vice-Presidents, the Federation announced on Wednesday (July 30). 

Mr Lee was President of the National Employers Council from 1977 to 1980, when it was combined with the Singapore Employers Federation to form the SNEF, where he became one of its first Vice-Presidents. He was elected President of the Federation in July 1988. During his time as SNEF President, he worked with three Presidents, six Minister for Labour/Manpower and three National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Secretary-Generals.


Said Mr Lee, 67, “When I became involved in the work of the National Employers Council (the predecessor of SNEF) 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. I have been through 40 National Wages Council sittings and many more tripartite committee meetings covering nearly every workplace challenge that employers have faced over the last 37 years. 

"I am indeed thankful for the support of the council and members as well as the trust of the Government and the Labour Movement."

He is also the longest-serving member of the National Wages Council (NWC), having joined in 1978, and advisor to the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices, or TAFEP. He was also a Nominated Member of Parliament from 1994 to 1997, and was awarded the Public Service Star in 1998 and the Distinguished Service Order in 2006. 

Mr Lee is currently Managing Director of Great Malaysia Textiles Investments and the Chairman of Singapore Airlines. He previously served as Chairman of the Singapore Business Federation, International Enterprise Singapore and PSA Corporation.


The next President, Dr Yap, joined the SNEF Council in June last year and become a Vice-President on Sept 26, 2013. He is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at YCH Group.

Said Mr Lee of his successor: “I have known Robert for more than 10 years, and most recently worked closely with him when he was a council member of the SBF when I was its Chairman from 2002 to 2008. He was very active in SBF. I am very confident that he will bring a global as well as local business perspective to the work of SNEF and lead it to further strengthen our partnership with employers, the Government and the Labour Movement."

Dr Yap said that Mr Lee had offered to assist him and the Federation even after stepping down, and the outgoing President will be involved in the deliberations leading up to NWC 2015.

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