Widow fails in tussle over HDB flat

Widow fails in tussle over HDB flat
The $700,000 five-room flat in Clementi will eventually go to sisters (above, from left) Yvette and Yvonne Goh when their mother, Madam Chia, dies.

The 92-year-old widow of scout pioneer Dennis Goh Chin Chye has failed to reverse the part transfer of their HDB flat to their two daughters.

The lawsuit against sisters Yvonne Goh Mei Ling, 63, and Yvette Goh Meich'ang, 53, may have been started by Madam Eileen Chia Yoke Mui and her late husband, but Justice Quentin Loh believed the elderly couple had been put up to it by their sons Eric Goh Wai Mun, 69, and Evan Goh Wyming, 65.

"This is a dreadful family dispute that should not have reached the courts for resolution," said the judge, as he dismissed Madam Chia's claim in the High Court on Wednesday.

"I have more than a strong suspicion that... the defendants' siblings were the main driving forces behind this litigation."

He disagreed with Madam Chia's testimony during an 18-day trial between April and August that her husband had only been "joking" when he suggested adding their daughters' names to the tenancy. The judge also rejected her claim that the couple were badgered into making the changes.

Rather, the couple were "not likely to have been led like sheep" and knew what they were doing when they signed an application form on Dec31, 2009.

The sisters, who live in England, were also not in Singapore when their parents signed a transfer document on March 12 the next year, the judge found.

Mr Goh, a respected Anglo-Chinese School physical education teacher, was an "intelligent and educated person" who tended to be "firm in his own views and in doing what he wanted", until his health deteriorated and he eventually died of heart failure in March, aged 94, the judge added.

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