All posts filed under: People

A Comrade of The Workers

"On behalf of the Labour Movement, farewell comrade, farewell" – S.R. Nathan #RememberingLKY A photo posted by Benjamin "Mr Miyagi" Lee (@miyagisan) on Mar 27, 2015 at 4:24am PDT Lee Kuan Yew began his political career representing trade unions while as a young lawyer with the firm Laycock & Ong. Mr Lee started winning over the rank and file who saw someone who was able to fight for their rights, whether it was for higher wages or a change in the design of the postal workers’ uniforms that would make them look less like ‘circus attendants’. I’ve mentioned previously how my father met a thuggish ‘elder Mr Lee’ in that incarnation as a union lawyer here. While the marriage between political parties and trade unions was not unique to Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew set in motion an evolution in labour relations that has not been emulated in any other jurisdiction. With workers’ basic rights secured over the years, a pragmatic instead of adversarial approach to the labour movement began in earnest. The world saw a …