Sabah Commercial Employees’ Union (SCEU)

The predecessor of Sabah Commercial Employees’ Union, The North Borneo Commercial Employees’ Union, was formed on 6th April 1957 in Jesselton (the old name of Kota Kinabalu). The three founders are George Chok, John Fung and Peter Mah.

When Kok Fung Chong succeeded as the general secretary, he learned trade unionism from the Singapore Association of Trade Union (SATU), as well as Singapore National Trade Union Congress (SNTUC).

Inspired by the labour movement in Singapore, he convinced the union to rename as Sabah Commercial Employees’ Union (SCEU) and to form union branches across the state. Since then, the union constitution allows workers in bank, plantation, timber sectors and shop workers to join SCEU.

In 1963, SCEU faced a union busting case at Borneo Co. Sandakan. The union demanded the company to reinstate the workers. When the management refused to negotiate, SCEU held a strike the next day and lasted for one month. Eventually the company agreed to pay compensation to the worker.

Under Kok’s leadership, SCEU organized another strike at HSBC bank over collective bargaining deadlock in 1965, forcing the bank to compromise and to sign the collective agreement.

In 1966, the Registrar of Trade Unions informed SCEU that the Trade Union Act 1959 stipulated that trade unions must be formed in accordance with the division of “trade, industry, occupation and establishment”.

As a consequence, workers in bank, plantation and timber sectors were prohibited to join SCEU. These workers were encouraged to form their own industrial unions.

Currently, SCEU is led by Noor Ainie (President) and Kok Tze Kin(General Secretary). The union has branches in Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tawau.

Contact SCEU :

Tel No. : 088-225971, 088-211949

Fax : 088-213815


Blog :

Address: Lot 3, Blk N, 2nd Floor Sinsuran Shopping Complex, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah