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Latest Judgments Judgments > Court:Supreme Year:2013

Dec 31 2013

Lee Seng Eder Vs. Wee Kim Chwee and Others

  • Decided on : 31-Dec-2013

Court : Singapore Supreme Court

Andrew Ang J: 1. The plaintiff, Lee Seng, Eder ("Lee"), sought leave in the present application to commence a derivative action in the name and on behalf of the third defendant, Neu-Movers Logistics Pte Ltd ("the Company"), against the first and second defendants, Wee Kim Chwee ("Wee") and Tien Shin ("Tien"), pursuant to s 216A of the Companies Act (Cap 50, 2006 Rev Ed) ("the Act"). Facts 2 Wee and Tien are directors and shareholders of the Company, which is in the business of providing transportation and warehousing services. Lee is one of the founders of the Company and was its managing director until his resignation on 29 March 2012. After his resignation, Lee remained a shareholder of the Company. 3 Lee's complaint was that Wee and Tien had allowed certain other parties to appropriate the Company's assets and goodwill in the following ways: (a) Wee and Tien allowed N M Solution Pte Ltd ("NMS"), a company incorporated by one Goh York Quee Bernard, a former employee of the Company, to "take over" the revenue to be earned from contracts with the Company's customers. (b) The Company's employees "became" NMS' employees and donned the NMS uniform. (c) NMS used the Company's vehicles. Two trucks (out of the 22 in the Company's name) were eventually bought by Sino-Freight Forwarding and Services Pte Ltd ("Sino-Freight"), a company controlled by Tien. 4 There were other allegations on both sides that need not be repeated because they were irrelevant for the purposes of this ...

Dec 31 2013

Monteverde Darvin Cynthia Vs. VGO Corp Ltd.

  • Decided on : 31-Dec-2013

Court : Singapore Supreme Court

Lionel Yee JC: 1. This is an appeal from the decision of the Assistant Commissioner for Labour ("the Commissioner") on 31 July 2013 concerning a claim by the Appellant against her former employer, the Respondent, for overtime pay during the period of her employment. At the hearing before the Commissioner, the Appellant appeared in person whereas the Respondent was represented by its human resource and administrative manager. On appeal, the Appellant remained in person but was assisted by a McKenzie friend. 2. By way of background, the Appellant was employed by the Respondent as a senior boutique associate starting from 21 August 2010. She was promoted to a boutique supervisor with effect from 1 May 2012. It was not disputed that her last drawn monthly basic salary was $1,900 and that she worked 60 hours per week. She ceased her employment with the Respondent when her work pass was cancelled on 17 August 2012. On 3 July 2013, she lodged a claim with the Commissioner for overtime pay for the period from the date of commencement of her employment (21 August 2010) to the date of termination of her employment (17 August 2012). 3. The Commissioner held that by virtue of s 115(2) of the Employment Act (Cap 91, 2009 Rev Ed) ("the Act"), any claim more than one year before the date of lodging the claim (ie, any claim before 4 July 2012) could not be taken into consideration.1 The Commissioner went on to determine that the Appellant was entitled to overtime pay for work done at the ...

Dec 31 2013

BNJ Vs. SMRT Trains Ltd and Another

  • Decided on : 31-Dec-2013

Court : Singapore Supreme Court

Vinodh Coomaraswamy J: 1. On 3 April 2011, a train coming into the Ang Mo Kio MRT station ("AMK Station") struck the plaintiff, causing her tragic and life-changing injuries. She was then just fourteen years old. In these proceedings, she seeks damages from two defendants for the injuries she suffered on that day. The first defendant is SMRT Trains Ltd ("SMRT"). SMRT is a public transport operator and holds the license to operate the mass rapid transit ("MRT") system along the North-South line. SMRT operates AMK Station and the train which injured the plaintiff. The second defendant is the Land Transport Authority of Singapore ("the LTA"). The LTA is a statutory board charged with regulating, amongst other things, Singapore's MRT system. The LTA is the owner of AMK Station and regulates SMRT's operations. The plaintiff is injured on 3 April 2011 2. The plaintiff arrived in Singapore on 14 March 2011 to study English. Her course was scheduled to end on 8 April 2011. She lived while in Singapore with a host family in Ang Mo Kio. She commuted from Ang Mo Kio to her place of study at Peninsula Plaza each weekday by MRT via the North-South line from AMK Station to City Hall MRT station. 3. 3 April 2011 was a Sunday. The plaintiff arranged to meet friends for lunch at a shopping mall close to City Hall station. She left her host family's flat at 10:40 am and arrived at AMK Station at about 11:00 am . Closed- circuit television ("CCTV") footage from AMK Station shows her walking on ...

Dec 31 2013

Qwik Built-Tech International Pte Ltd. Vs. Acmes-Kings Corp Pte Ltd.

  • Decided on : 31-Dec-2013

Court : Singapore Supreme Court

Lionel Yee JC: 1. This case involves various claims for monies due and payable arising from a building construction project at Kuda Huraa Island, Male' Atoll, the Republic of the Maldives ("the Project"). 2. The plaintiff company ("the Plaintiff') is in the business of designing and fabricating lightweight steel framing systems to be used in building structures. The Plaintiff is run by a husband and wife duo, namely Mr Eng Chua Rong-Di (also known as "Ero Chua") and Ms Khoo Kooi Lean (also known as "Amanda Khoo"). Ero Chua is the Plaintiff's manager whereas Amanda Khoo is the Plaintiff's managing director. 3. The defendant company ("the Defendant") is in the business of providing plumbing, heating and other related services. The Defendant has a subsidiary company called Acmes-Power Building Services Pte Ltd ("APBS"); it holds 99% of the shares in APBS. Mr Wong Khio Kong (also known as "Joe Wong") is a director of both the Defendant and APBS. Mr Yeo Kuei Ping (also known as "Randy Yeo") is the project manager of APBS who was in charge of the Project. 4. In or around August 2010, Joe Wong and Ero Chua were introduced to each other by a mutual friend and Joe Wong came to know of the Plaintiff. Subsequently, when Joe Wong learnt that a company called HPL Resorts (Maldives) Pte Ltd ("HPL") was seeking tenders for a building works project in the Maldives (ie, the Project), he approached the Plaintiff to ask whether the Plaintiff was interested to participate in the Project. The ...

Dec 31 2013

Holland Leedon Pte Ltd. Vs. C and P Transport Pte Ltd.

  • Decided on : 31-Dec-2013

Court : Singapore Supreme Court

Lionel Yee JC: 1. This dispute arises out of the storage of metal coils in a warehouse. 2. The plaintiff, Holland Leedon Pte Ltd (in liquidation) ("the Plaintiff'), is a company registered in Singapore and is presently in members' voluntary liquidation. Prior to the commencement of the liquidation process, the Plaintiff was in the business of metal stamping, tools and die making, clean room assembly, and manufacturing hard-disk drive covers. In 2004, the Plaintiffs sold its business to a company known as Metalform Asia Pte Ltd. The defendant, C and P Transport Pte Ltd ("the Defendant"), is also a Singapore registered company and is in the business primarily of providing logistics, transportation, and warehousing related services. The background facts 3. As the background facts to the present claim are somewhat drawn-out, I will for the purposes of this introduction only set out the significant events leading up to the trial. In so far as any further details are relevant to my findings, they will be discussed further in my analysis of the evidence. The Plaintiffs stock of metal coils 4. After the Plaintiff sold its business to Metalform Asia Pte Ltd ("Metalform Asia") in 2004, they continued to hold stocks of metal coils and steel sheets, and these were stored in a warehouse owned by Transware Distribution Services Pte Ltd ("Transware"). According to the Plaintiff, it discovered sometime in August 2005 that Metalform Asia was improperly appropriating its stocks. It therefore ...

Dec 30 2013

The Republic of the Philippines Vs. Maler Foundation and Others

  • Decided on : 30-Dec-2013

Court : Singapore Supreme Court

Chao Hick Tin JA (delivering the judgment of the court): 1. These are three appeals against the decision of a High Court Judge ("the Judge") in WestLB AG v Philippine National Bank and others [2012] 4 SLR 894 ("the Judgment") determining entitlement to the sums of US$16.8m and 4.2m ("the Funds") held in an account with the Singapore branch of WestLB AG ("WestLB"). The appeals presented the court with a novel factual scenario which did not appear to be readily susceptible to the mechanistic application of established conflict of laws rules. A sui generis situation cannot, however, justify a radical departure from settled law. The issues before this court should still be approached on the basis of principle. 2. The appellant in Civil Appeal No 109 of 2012 ("CA 109/2012") is the Republic of the Philippines ("the Republic"). 3. The appellants in Civil Appeal No 110 of 2012 ("CA 110/2012") are the plaintiffs in a human rights class action suit ("the Human Rights Victims") brought against the deposed President of the Philippines, Ferdinand E Marcos ("Mr Marcos"), in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii. The Human Rights Victims are also the sixth respondents in CA 109/2012. The Human Rights Victims form a class comprising 9,539 civilian citizens of the Philippines, their heirs and beneficiaries, who had in December 1995 obtained final judgment in the sum of US$1,964,005,859.90 against Mr Marcos' estate ("the Marcos Estate") after Mr Marcos passed away while ...

Dec 30 2013

Lee Koon Vs. Seah Yong Chwan

  • Decided on : 30-Dec-2013

Court : Singapore Supreme Court

Edmund Leow JC: 1. The issue in this case is whether a specific bequest of company shares made under a will was defeated by the winding up of that company so that the liquidation surplus paid out in relation to those shares falls into the residue of the estate. If so, the plaintiff is entitled to the entire surplus as she is the residuary beneficiary under the will, even though she was a specific legatee of only some of those shares. 2. On 7 November 2013, I heard arguments from the parties and thereafter reserved judgment. That same evening, solicitors for the defendant wrote to the Registry of the Supreme Court requesting leave to make further arguments. On 11 November 2013, solicitors for the plaintiff wrote to object to the defendant's request. I declined to hear further arguments and now give my judgment. The facts 3. The plaintiff is the widow of one Seah Eng Teow ("the Deceased"). She is now 83 years old and is suing by her attorneys, her elder son Seah Teong Kang ("Teong Kang") and her daughter Seah Chiew Tee ("Chiew Tee"). The defendant is her younger son and executor of the Deceased's estate. 4. The Deceased owned 1.2 million shares ("the Shares") in Teow Aik Realty (S) Pte Ltd ("the Company"). The Company was incorporated on 2 March 1983 and had a paid up capital of $5m in the form of 5 million shares of $1 each. It was evidently a family owned and run company. The shareholders who were also the directors were: (a) Teong Kang: 1.8 million shares (b) Chiew Tee: 200 ...

Dec 30 2013

BLQ Vs. BLR

  • Decided on : 30-Dec-2013

Court : Singapore Supreme Court

Tan Siong Thye JC: 1. This judgment relates to two summonses filed by the applicant- husband. SUM 30400/2013 is the husband's application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal. SUM 30539/2013 is the husband's application for a stay of execution pending the outcome of the husband's application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal. Background 2. The husband is a 61 year old crane operator while the respondent-wife is a 55 year old cleaner. They have two children aged 37 and 35. The parties' 37 years marriage broke down irretrievably in January 2011 after the wife's accidental discovery of the husband's 15 years relationship with a mistress. The husband also has a 14 year old daughter with the mistress. 3. The husband filed for divorce on the ground of unreasonable behaviour on the part of the wife. The wife counterclaimed for divorce on the ground of the husband's unreasonable behaviour. Interim judgment was ultimately granted on an uncontested basis. 4. The issues before the learned District Judge were the division of the matrimonial assets and the maintenance for the wife. The learned District Judge found that the husband had made $581,860.48 withdrawals from bank accounts without satisfactory explanation. At the Family court it was not in dispute that the wife had made direct financial contributions amounting to 41% of the matrimonial HDB flat. In view of the wife's indirect contributions, the learned District Judge held that it would be fair and just for the ...

Dec 30 2013

BNH Vs. BNI

  • Decided on : 30-Dec-2013

Court : Singapore Supreme Court

George Wei JC: 1. This is my judgment in respect of the ancillary matters in Divorce Transferred No 4659 of 2011. The parties have agreed on joint custody of the children with care and control to the plaintiff-wife ("the Wife") with reasonable access to the defendant-husband ("the Husband") and the matters which remain are the division of the matrimonial assets, maintenance for the wife and children, and the costs of these proceedings. There is also a secondary legal issue concerning whether the Wife should be allowed to claim costs of a private investigation report from the Husband. 2. After hearing the parties, my decision is that the Wife is to receive 25% of the nett value of a property known as the [V] property in full and final satisfaction of her claim in the matrimonial assets. As for the issue of maintenance, the Wife is awarded a nominal sum of $1 per month, and the children a sum of $9,500 per month. The maintenance for the children is to be borne equally by the Wife and the Husband; the Husband is accordingly liable to pay $4,750 per month to the Wife as maintenance for the children. The Husband is to pay the Wife $10,000 that being the cost the Wife is allowed to claim for the private investigation report. The Facts The Parties and their marriage 3. The Wife is 35 years old and is a dentist employed by [P] Pte Ltd, and holds the title of Associate Dental Surgeon. The Husband is 42 years old and is employed by [U], and holds the title of Regional Chief Investment ...

Dec 27 2013

BND Vs. BNE

  • Decided on : 27-Dec-2013

Court : Singapore Supreme Court

Andrew Ang J: 1. This judgment deals with the division of the parties' matrimonial assets and the maintenance of [BND] ("the wife") and her two children, an earlier Order of Court made on 10 May 2012 having dealt with the issues of custody, care and control, and access. Background facts 2. The parties were married on 29 April 1994. [BNE] ("the husband") is an accountant by training. Although he is currently unemployed, he has worked in various finance-related roles for several companies in the past. During the marriage, the parties were involved in the running of a partnership known as [C] which was engaged in the wholesale distribution and export of gold jewellery. The wife now works as a part-time sales executive in [D], a company owned by her family in Thailand. Interim judgment for divorce was granted on 17 June 2011 on the basis that the husband behaved in such a way that the wife could not reasonably be expected to live with the husband. The parties have two children aged 17 and 16. 3. On 25 May 2010, the wife and two children were chased out of the matrimonial home by the husband. The wife and children then had to seek short-term accommodation at various locations including a relative's home, Grand Mercure Roxy Singapore, York Hotel and Amber Point. Shortly thereafter, in June 2010, the husband contracted to sell the matrimonial home without the wife's knowledge and consent. The wife was deliberately kept in the dark by the husband so that she would not have a share ...

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