SINGAPORE - Seven months ago, 88-year-old Doris Chung paid her widowed sister a Chinese New Year visit at her sprawling $30 million Gerald Crescent bungalow.
It was then she noticed that her sister Chung Khin Chun, 87, was having trouble with her memory. "I was worried about her well-being," she said.
She also asked to meet the man from China who had been living in the house since 2009, a year after he served as a personal tour guide to Madam Chung Khin Chun during a holiday in China.
He introduced himself as Mr Yang Yin and made polite small talk, recalled Madam Doris Chung. After the visit, she asked her daughter Hedy Mok, the 60-year-old owner of a tour agency here, to take her sister to a doctor.
After a psychiatrist diagnosed that Madam Chung Khin Chun had dementia, Madam Mok applied in June to be her aunt's guardian under the Mental Capacity Act. But she found that Mr Yang had already been granted a Lasting Power of Attorney in 2012, giving him full control over all the widow's assets, estimated to be worth $40 million. Last month, Madam Mok took legal action.
First, she asked the court to stop Mr Yang from disposing of assets belonging to him and the widow both here and overseas. The Mareva injunction was granted.
She also started proceedings, which are still before the courts, to revoke Mr Yang of his guardianship of her aunt.
On Aug 21, she spirited her aunt out of the bungalow. Then on Sept 2 came the showdown, which put the saga in the public eye for the first time. That afternoon, Madam Mok turned up at the bungalow with her aunt and several close friends.
They demanded that Mr Yang's wife, Madam Weng Yandan, and their two-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter leave the house. Mr Yang's family had moved in as well last year. Madam Weng initially refused and phoned her husband, who was in Japan at the time. Madam Mok then called the authorities, and five officers from the Ang Mo Kio Police Division turned up.
Reporters who were there heard someone in Madam Mok's party shout "shameless woman". Madam Weng retorted: "You are bullies!"
Madam Mok was heard telling the police: "I cannot force her to leave, but this is my aunt's house, and I can certainly change the locks."
Two locksmiths were called, and they started changing the locks.
Faced with the prospect of being locked out of the house and having to spend the night outdoors, Madam Weng called her lawyer, Mr Daniel Zhu from Straits Law, and decided to move to a friend's flat in Toa Payoh.
But not before protesting to reporters: "We have been looking after grandmother for five years because she asked us to do so. Her relatives, they do not visit her... They are always asking for money. During Chinese New Year, they only turned up with some oranges.
"What we have done is lawful."
Throughout the confrontation, the widow was seen sitting quietly in Madam Mok's Mercedes-Benz, seemingly oblivious to the drama.