IS it the end for Colin Yow – the Singaporean-born high flyer who took on the establishment and lost, the man who confused reforms for rice and noodle sales?
Legal experts spoken to said it is the end for Mr Yow in terms of his fight to remain the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA).
But the man, who ignored High Court rulings regarding reinstatement of sacked SIPA workers, not once but twice, has left the country before the long arm of the law caught up with him.
Mr Yow was on an Air Niugini Vanuatu-bound flight on Tuesday 10th May – the same flight that Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s delegation took to Port Vila to launch the bid for hosting the 2023 Pacific Games.
“It was a coincidence he was on the same flight,” officials said afterwards.
It is not clear how long he was in Vanuatu before flying on to Australia from there.
The High Court which decided Mr Yow’s fate in an interlocutory ruling on April 29 confirmed that Mr Yow, an Australian citizen, has not filed an appeal against the ruling, which among other things prohibited him from entering any buildings owned and controlled by SIPA.
The 14-day period within which he was required to file an appeal lapsed last Friday.
“No, there’s nothing in our record to show he has lodged an appeal,” the High Court said this week.
According to the Attorney General’s Chambers, failure to lodge an appeal within the time frame granted by the High Court, meant the individual has accepted the allegations against him.
“In the case of Mr Yow, he can appeal to the Court of Appeal, but he must have solid grounds for lodging a late appeal.
“The fact that he was unable to lodge an appeal within the 14 days granted by the High Court meant he has accepted the finality of his case,” a spokesman said.
The Board of SIPA applied to the High Court for an injunction against Mr Yow after he defied his sacking which the Board announced on Sunday 24th April 2016. According to a statement issued by the Board, Mr Yow was sacked on the grounds of “non-compliance and insubordination.”
But for the entire week following his dismissal, Mr Yow went to work, claiming he was still the CEO of SIPA.
Mr Yow finally relented when the High Court granted the injunction.
What followed was a potential political time bomb, which resulted in the brief resignation of the Minister for Infrastructure Development, Jimmy Lusibaea.
He was promptly reappointed, defusing the situation.
Mr Yow’s travel to Vanuatu on the same flight with the nation’s official delegation had tongues wagging.
The Heritage Park Hotel where Mr Yow had a SBD46, 000-a-month fully-furnished rented apartment, confirmed yesterday that Mr Yow checked out last week.
Meanwhile, police is believed to have completed their investigations into the SIPA affairs under Mr Yow’s 15-month tenure as CEO.
Police now have an additional problem on their hands in not only locating the man, but bringing him back to Solomon Islands to face charges in the event evidence of criminality has been established.
Police Commissioner Frank Prendagerst said last week that police were investigating “allegations of criminality” at SIPA.
By ALFRED SASAKO