Yeo Guat Kwang

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Yeo Guat Kwang
杨木光
Member of the Singapore Parliament
for Ang Mo Kio GRC (2011 - 2015)
Aljunied GRC (2001 - 2011)
Cheng San GRC (1997 - 2001)
In office
2 January 1997 - 25 August 2015
Succeeded by Darryl David Mem
Personal details
Born (1961-01-27) 27 January 1961 (age 56)
Singapore
Political party People's Action Party (1997)
Alma mater National University of Singapore,
National Institute of Education
Website http://yeoguatkwang.org/

Yeo Guat Kwang (simplified Chinese: 杨木光; traditional Chinese: 楊木光; pinyin: Yáng Mù Guāng; born 27 January 1961) is a Member of the 12th Parliament of Singapore for the Ang Mo Kio GRC. A member of the governing People's Action Party, he has been a Member of Parliament from 1997 to 2015, and is also currently serving as the Assistant Secretary-General in National Trades Union Congress.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Yeo was educated at The Chinese High School, Nanyang Junior College and National University of Singapore. In 2013, he attained his Masters in Public Administration and Management, NUS Business School and Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.[2] There after, Yeo started his career in 1987 as a teacher at Nanyang Junior College, and in 1991, he then became the Head of Department of Anderson Secondary.From 1993 to 1996, he was a Specialist Inspector for Chinese to Ministry of Education. In 1996, he joined the union as an Executive Secretary for Building Construction and Timber Industries Employees Union (BATU) and later moved on to become the Executive Secretary for Singapore Industrial and Services Employees Union (SISEU), and also the Executive Secretary for the Amalgamated Union of Statutory Board Employees (AUSBE).[3]

Career in Labour Movement[edit]

In January 2014, Yeo was appointed Assistant Secretary-General (ASG)[4][5] in National Trade Union Congress, together with Patrick Tay, Ang Hin Kee and Zainal Sapari. Yeo holds key priorities for Workplace Safety and Health (WSH), Migrant Workers Center (MWC) and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) outreach.

1. Migrant Workers’ Centre[edit]

The Migrant Workers' Center (MWC) was set up in 2009, and is a bipartite initiative of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore National Employers' Federation (SNEF). As Chairman of MWC, Mr Yeo has been championing for fair employment practices of migrant workers in Singapore, and providing protection and assistance to distressed migrant workers and advocating for their rights.

Opening of MWC[edit]

As Chairman of Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC), Yeo spearheaded the opening of the new centre at Rangoon Road on 26 January 2014, catering to the increasing number of migrant workers who have been approaching MWC for help.[6]

Free Legal Clinic for Migrant Workers[edit]

Yeo lobbied for pro bono legal advice services for migrant workers to seek free basic legal advice and information at the Free Legal Clinic, an initiative that is jointly organized by the Law Society of Singapore's Pro Bono Services Office and Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC).[7]

Employment contracts for migrant workers[edit]

Yeo lobbied for standard employment contracts that outline specific service agreements and employment terms to discourage malpractices by errant employment agents. He also called for the granting of Change of Employer status for workers to continue working while their disputes are being resolved. [8]

2. Workplace Safety and Health[edit]

Yeo is currently the Director for Workplace Safety and Health at NTUC and has lobbied for all employers to carry out comprehensive risk assessments and enforce safety measures in view of the spate of worksite accidents in early 2014. Yeo emphasizes that it is the employer’s duty to ensure that proper safety measures are taken in place.[9]

3. Small and Medium Enterprise[edit]

NTUC SME Lead, Yeo Guat Kwang lobbied in Parliament, March 2014, for the government to help SMEs re-model and anticipate and predict future trends and challenges. He also stressed that SMEs to re-model themselves to be the “SMEs of tomorrow” through the use of government schemes, incentives and grants.[10]

Career in politics[edit]

Yeo was a Member of Parliament for Cheng San GRC from 1997 to 2001, Aljunied GRC from 2001 to 2011 and Ang Mo Kio GRC from 2011 to 2015. During Singapore's general election in 2015, he led the People's Action Party team for Aljunied GRC, but they lost.

Since entering politics in 1997, he has been an advocate for many causes, including workers’ rights, mental wellness and consumer protection. Among his many roles, Mr Yeo is the President of the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), Director of Quality Worklife Department at NTUC and Chairman of the Migrant Workers Centre.

References[edit]