SINGAPORE: Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) president Robert Yap has resigned after the organisation said it was informed of a “governance procedural lapse” during a routine internal review. 

In a media statement, SNEF said on Tuesday (Jun 11) the council “promptly engaged an external consultant to conduct a thorough review of our internal processes”. 

The federation added that the independent review is ongoing and that it is not aware of any financial implications arising from the lapse.

“The council takes seriously the federation’s responsibility in upholding governance ideals expected by all our stakeholders and will be directly overseeing this independent review.”

The statement did not specify the reasons behind Dr Yap’s resignation, who has also stepped down as a council member. He had led SNEF for the past 10 years.

CNA has asked for more information about the circumstances of the resignation, including the nature of the governance lapse.

Dr Yap is the executive chairman of supply chain and logistics company YCH Group, and joined the SNEF council in June 2013 before becoming its president in September the following year.

He is also the president of the ASEAN Confederation of Employers, and the Singapore chair of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council and Malaysia-Singapore Business Council.

“I thank the SNEF council, SNEF members and tripartite stakeholders for their years of support. I have worked hard to advance the interests of my members and tripartism in Singapore. It is never easy but I have done what I can. It is also time to hand over the reins of leadership,” said Dr Yap.

“I understand the council’s decision to engage an external consultant to pursue an independent review. It is always good to review governance procedures so that organisations can continue to improve and learn from any organisational weaknesses.” 

SNEF represents the interests of businesses in Singapore. It says it has a membership of over 3,300 companies with a combined workforce of more than 800,000.


The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said it had been informed by SNEF of Dr Yap’s resignation and that the union is conducting a review of its internal processes. 

“While there is no indication of any financial implications arising from this lapse thus far, MOM has requested SNEF to provide us with an update on the outcome of their review and to share key documentation with MOM as soon as it is completed,” it added.

MOM said it will decide on its next course of action after the review. 

“There will be no change to the tripartite process. MOM will continue to work with SNEF as our tripartite partner to advance our economic and social goals for Singapore,” the ministry added.

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) also said it had been notified that Dr Yap is stepping down from his roles at SNEF.

It noted that, under Dr Yap, SNEF had contributed to numerous tripartite councils and workgroups, advocating the interest of businesses in improving the lives and livelihoods of their workers.

NTUC said it was “appreciative” of his contributions to the labour movement.

“NTUC will continue to uphold tripartism with SNEF and MOM. Tripartism has been and continues to be one of the cornerstones of Singapore’s success,” it added.


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