Whye Kee turned out to be a very effective gangster, literally fighting his way to the top of his gang to become the Headman within a short period of time.

Years, later, this gangster would become a scholar, writing a thesis on the Chinese secret society, tracing its roots back to the Qing Dynasty. In his thesis, Whye Kee attributed the genesis of the Chinese secret society to the burning of the Shaolin Temple and massacre of the monks. “From the ashes of Shao Lin martyrs, the Chinese Secret Society was created to serve a righteous and noble cause – to avenge the monks and to serve a greater good by restoring the Ming Dynasty.”

However, Whye Kee also noted that “.. modern Chinese secret societies do not serve righteous ideals. There is no political agenda to their activities. They do not work to achieve social justice or to balance the distribution of political power or economic wealth to the greater benefit of all in society.  What is acknowledged as a Chinese Secret Society today may practice the old rituals, but the original purity of purpose is not embedded into its operations. Using threats, vandalism and physical abuse, they exploit the people in society that they once pledged to help and protect. The Chinese Secret Society of today is little more than a street gang. However the gang fills a critical role for the vulnerable and disenfranchised segments of our population. It creates a sense of community among teenagers and young men who feel isolated from mainstream society.”

Hence in modern Singapore, the Law quickly caught up with him and he was detained without trial and then sent to prison.