Ex-guide hired recruitment firm to apply for work pass

Ex-guide hired recruitment firm to apply for work pass
Rikvin (right) had helped Mr Yang (left) set up the Young Music and Dance Studio in March 2009. Its second application on his behalf for an Employment Pass six months later was successful.

Chinese national Yang Yin was so determined to make a new life in Singapore that he hired a specialised recruitment firm here to set up his company and apply for an Employment Pass (EP), as a prelude to getting permanent resident status.

The studio's address is listed as the bungalow of the wealthy widow who handed control of her $40 million worth of assets to the former tour guide in 2012, after he became a Singapore PR.

Back in March 2009, local recruitment firm Rikvin helped Mr Yang set up the Young Music and Dance Studio, with him as managing director.

A month later, the firm applied for an EP on Mr Yang's behalf. The application was turned down.

But Rikvin's second attempt on Mr Yang's behalf, in September that year, was successful, according to Straits Times checks.

By then, Mr Yang was already ensconced in the $30 million Yio Chu Kang home of Madam Chung Khin Chun, 87, the woman at the centre of a legal storm involving Mr Yang, 40, and her niece Madam Hedy Mok, 60, who believes he manipulated her aunt into giving him Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

The rest of his family moved in last year.

When The Straits Times visited Rikvin's Equity Plaza office this week, its chief operating officer Satish Bakhda confirmed that Mr Yang was one of its 4,000 clients.

In court papers last month, Mr Yang, who befriended Madam Chung when he was her personal guide in Beijing in 2008, said that she had invited him to Singapore to look after her and wanted him as her "grandson".

"The company was incorporated so that I could run a business and obtain my Singapore permanent residency," he said.

Mr Bakhda told The Straits Times that while he, personally, had never met the man, Rikvin's services to Mr Yang were totally above board.

The firm also provided him with professional secretary Lim Soh Sea.

Ms Lim, 44, is company secretary to more than 1,000 local firms, according to Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) records.

She met Mr Yang for the first time only two weeks ago, when he went to the office to pick up some files. When asked if his firm had scrutinised Mr Yang's application, Mr Bakhda said that it was not its place to do so.

"Who am I to say, 'What are you going to do (with the company)?'" said Mr Bakhda.

He added that while Rikvin helped Mr Yang to submit annual accounts to Acra through his firm, "we did not do its accounts".

When reporters visited Madam Chung's home last Saturday, the only instrument in sight was a dusty piano with rusted hinges and uneven keys. Indonesian maid Surti, 43, who has worked for Madam Chung since 2007, said she heard Mr Yang run his fingers over the piano once.

Retired teacher Chang Phie Chin, 84, a good friend of the widow who used to live with her at the bungalow, said in court papers that Mr Yang's company was a "sham".

Meanwhile, a court hearing yesterday on two applications by Madam Chung's niece, Madam Mok, was adjourned until Oct 29.

Madam Mok had earlier applied to be appointed her aunt's deputy with full powers - which would allow her to decide on all of Madam Chung's matters. She also applied to revoke Mr Yang's LPA.

The Family Court will be hearing a separate case tomorrow brought by the Office of the Public Guardian to determine whether Madam Chung has the mental capacity to revoke the LPA she granted Mr Yang in 2012, which she now wants to do.

She was examined by an Institute of Mental Health medical expert yesterday, as ordered by the court.

Mr Yang also faces separate investigations by the police for suspected criminal breach of trust, and by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and Manpower Ministry on how he obtained his permanent residency and EP, among others.


This article was first published on October 16, 2014.
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