Office of Public Guardian seeks to suspend powers of niece and ex-tour guide

Office of Public Guardian seeks to suspend powers of niece and ex-tour guide
Former China tour guide Yang Yin (right) made headlines due to his involvement in a legal tussle over a wealthy widow's assets, estimated to be worth $40 million.

SINGAPORE - In an unexpected twist of events, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) submitted a request to court on Monday to suspend the powers of both the niece of multi-millionaire widow Madam Chung Khin Chun and Chinese tour guide, who is accused of swindling the dementia-striken widow out of her fortune.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said in a statement that the Public Guardian has also made an application to request for the court's determination of 87-year-old's mental capacity through an independent medical assessment.

The OPG received an application on Sep 23 from Madam Chung to revoke her Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) which she gave Mr Yang Yin, 40, in 2012. The legal document gave Mr Yang authority over the widow's S$40 million fortune.

Under the Mental Capacity Act, a person must have mental capacity to revoke his/her LPA. 

As such the OPG believes that it is necessary for Madam Chung's mental capacity to be assessed before it decides on the cancellation of the LPA.

The OPG's application will be heard on Oct 3, reported The Straits Times.

If it is approved, neither Mr Yang nor Madam Hedy Mok, 40, travel agency owner, can represent the widow.

On Aug 1, Madam Mok was appointed as her aunt's deputy for the purposes of commencing legal proceedings on her behalf under the Mental Capacity Act.

Madam Chung was diagnosed with dementia earlier this year, but a psychiatric assessment 2 weeks ago found that she has the mental capacity to revoke the LPA. 

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