Family Court to decide on Monday over control of widow's $40 million assets

Family Court to decide on Monday over control of widow's $40 million assets

SINGAPORE - In the latest development involving 87-year-old Madam Chung Khin Chun's $40m assets, the Family Court will have to make a decision on Monday on whether her mental capability can allow her to change her mind on who should look after her welfare and assets.

According to The Straits Times, the closed-door hearing on the rich widow's bid to cancel the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) she granted to former China tour guide Yang Yin in 2012 was adjourned on Friday (Nov 21).

A second expert witness Professor Chiam Peak Chiang, a senior consultant at the Institute of Mental Heath (IMH), was called by the court to give her testimony. It took nearly two hours.

In September, she was appointed by the court to examine Madam Chung, reported the Straits Times.

Her testimony came after psychiatrist Calvin Fones, who is in private practice, was called to give his testimony on Thursday of his examination of Madam Chung in Sep.

According to The Straits Times, Dr Fones had previously certified that the widow did have the mental capability to cancel the LPA. He added that Madam Chung applied to the Office of Public Guardian (OPG) in Sep for the cancellation of the LPA.

After which, the OPG applied to court to request for an IMH medical expert to examine Madam Chung, while Yang's powers under the LPA was suspended.

The OPG said the move was "necessary to safeguard and protect the interests and assets of Madam Chung", reported the Straits Times.

It added that it will decide on the cancellation of the LPA depending on the court's ruling on the widow's mental capability.

The case started when Madam Chung met the 40-year-old Yang in Beijing in 2008. She was diagnosed with dementia this year.

Her niece Hedy Mok, 60, has accused Yang of manipulating the widow in the process of gaining access to her $40 million assets, which also includes a $30 million bungalow. He also faces charges of falsifying 331 of his firm's receipts.

On Nov 14, The Straits Times reported that the High Court had frozen the local assets of Yang Yin's wife after a one-hour pre-trial conference on Monday (Nov 10).

The Straits Times also reported that Yang is also being probed by the Ministry of Manpower and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority on his Employment Pass in 2009 and permanent residency in 2011 and how he managed to obtain them.

stephluo@sph.com.sg

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