Beyond the Bench: The Life of CJ Yong Pung How

Andrew Phang

Success in life is all well and good, but what’s the good if you don’t know the importance of [ 人 情】human relationships?

– Yong Pun How, CJ Singapore to a young Singapore lawyer.

This newly published 2024 book by Andrew Phang on the life and legacy of the late Singapore Chief Justice is a well- crafted book.

Divided into several parts it contains a broad-based biography, reminiscences from all the Judicial Law Clerks who had clerked under Justice Yong as well as memories from the top echelons of Singapore society.

The intent is to give readers an idea of a well-lived life. I find these memories of The Chief, as he is called by his JLCs, fascinating.

An area which is missing, perhaps, are the reminiscences of Justice Yong’s staff.

I am made to believe when his personal secretary retired, he bought a car for her in gratitude for her selfless service to him.

Their recollections would have added a useful dimension to this caring and polymath of a man.

I highly recommend this book besides the 2 books here. All three gives us a good overview of the legal landscape in Singapore from 1960s to 2023.

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