Bid to void transfer of S$7 million Chancery Hill house dismissed

SINGAPORE: If he knew his two sons were taking his long-time mistress to court in a tussle for his property, once-prominent psychiatrist Wong Yip Cheong would be “heartbroken”, a High Court judge said on Monday.

In dismissing a bid by the plaintiffs to declare void their father’s move to make Madam Patricia Ling Ai Wah joint owner of a S$7 million property along Chancery Hill Road, Justice Lai Siu Chiu noted that Dr Wong, 82, who now suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, had lived there with her “as man and wife” for almost 30 years.

Except in name, the plaintiffs’ mother, Madam Tan Kim Yam, has not been considered by Dr Wong as his wife for the better part of 50 years, pointed out Justice Lai at the conclusion of a 23-day hearing, during which the court heard details of the relationship between Dr Wong and his two families.

The two plaintiffs, neurologist Meng Cheong, 54, and locum general practitioner Meng Leong, 49, had contended that their father was already stricken with Alzheimer’s disease and had been unduly influenced by Mdm Ling, 60, when he signed the transfer deed in December 2004.

They asked that the transfer be declared void or, failing which, for the joint ownership to be converted into a shared tenancy.

But Justice Lai noted that the evidence presented in court painted a different picture. For instance, Dr Wong was still treating patients and generated some S$3 million in income for Adam Road Hospital, which he had founded, that year.

The judge also criticised the plaintiffs for using Dr Wong’s incapacity to “wrest as much of his assets as they could”.

She removed Meng Cheong and Meng Leong from being members of the Committee of Persons of the Person and Estate of Dr Wong, leaving the second defendant, their half-brother Meng Weng, 35, as the only member.

But Justice Lai also made an unusual order: Mdm Ling’s decisions concerning how Dr Wong would be cSINGAPORE: If he knew his two sons were taking his long-time mistress to court in a tussle for his property, once-prominent psychiatrist Wong Yip Cheong would be “heartbroken”, a High Court judge said on Monday.

In dismissing a bid by the plaintiffs to declare void their father’s move to make Madam Patricia Ling Ai Wah joint owner of a S$7 million property along Chancery Hill Road, Justice Lai Siu Chiu noted that Dr Wong, 82, who now suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, had lived there with her “as man and wife” for almost 30 years.

Except in name, the plaintiffs’ mother, Madam Tan Kim Yam, has not been considered by Dr Wong as his wife for the better part of 50 years, pointed out Justice Lai at the conclusion of a 23-day hearing, during which the court heard details of the relationship between Dr Wong and his two families.

The two plaintiffs, neurologist Meng Cheong, 54, and locum general practitioner Meng Leong, 49, had contended that their father was already stricken with Alzheimer’s disease and had been unduly influenced by Mdm Ling, 60, when he signed the transfer deed in December 2004.

They asked that the transfer be declared void or, failing which, for the joint ownership to be converted into a shared tenancy.

But Justice Lai noted that the evidence presented in court painted a different picture. For instance, Dr Wong was still treating patients and generated some S$3 million in income for Adam Road Hospital, which he had founded, that year.

The judge also criticised the plaintiffs for using Dr Wong’s incapacity to “wrest as much of his assets as they could”.

She removed Meng Cheong and Meng Leong from being members of the Committee of Persons of the Person and Estate of Dr Wong, leaving the second defendant, their half-brother Meng Weng, 35, as the only member.

But Justice Lai also made an unusual order: Mdm Ling’s decisions concerning how Dr Wong would be cared for – whether to bring him home or send him to hospital – would prevail, saying it was “only right” given their relationship.

Meng Cheong, who had in 2006 obtained some S$1million of his father’s money as repayment of loans he had made to him for his medical upkeep, was also ordered to refund the money to his estate.

The two plaintiffs also have to pay all of Mdm Ling’s legal costs out of their own pockets. ared for – whether to bring him home or send him to hospital – would prevail, saying it was “only right” given their relationship.

Meng Cheong, who had in 2006 obtained some S$1million of his father’s money as repayment of loans he had made to him for his medical upkeep, was also ordered to refund the money to his estate.

The two plaintiffs also have to pay all of Mdm Ling’s legal costs out of their own pockets.

Source : Today – 9 Aug 2011

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