Ex-lover sued for return of flat

SINGAPORE - A 67-year-old man who put down $340,000 for a condominium unit in Choa Chu Kang, which was registered in his China-born mistress' name, has sued her to get the flat back.

Former car workshop owner Kua Tee Beng also wants the return of three Rolex watches worth $50,000, jewellery valued at $30,000 and $85,000 in monthly allowances he had given hairdressing salon owner Ye Caiyan, 41.

Madam Ye, a Fujian native who is now a Singapore citizen, has three school-going children with her Singaporean husband, from whom she is legally separated.

Mr Kua is twice married and has three children, aged between 38 and 44, with his first wife.

He met Madam Ye through her nephew, who was a mechanic at his workshop. Each has a different account of how the relationship began.

Mr Kua claims that Madam Ye invited him for social gatherings during which she told him that she was divorced and lonely.

Madam Ye denies this. Her version is that Mr Kua visited her salon regularly and wooed her; she finally agreed to be his lover after he promised to take care of her and her children for life.

After they became lovers, he gave her a $5,000 monthly "allowance" and paid her utility and grocery bills. Mr Kua claims Madam Ye had pressured him into supporting her and her children.

She says he did it of his own volition to show his love and that she took only $3,500 a month.

In 2011, through a property agent, Madam Ye found an $810,000 three-room unit condo at Palm Gardens. Mr Kua forked out nearly $340,000 for the deposit and other expenses for the flat, which was registered in Madam Ye's name.

Mr Kua, represented by Mr Subbiah Pillai, says he wanted the flat as an investment but Madam Ye influenced him into buying it in her name so that his children cannot fight over it. He contends that she was merely holding the flat in trust for him and refused to transfer it back to him - the rightful owner - when he asked her to do so.

But Madam Ye says she was the one who wanted to buy a private property so that she and her children would have a roof over their heads in the event of a divorce. She contends that Mr Kua offered to buy the flat for her as a gift.

Yesterday, Mr Kua denied an assertion by Madam Ye's lawyer Kasi Ramalingam that the flat belonged to her and that it was only when their relationship soured last year that he started demanding the flat's return.

"I trusted her. I let it be put under her name. Later I realised that she wanted to cheat me," he said through a Hokkien interpreter.

He vehemently denied that the flat was a gift to Madam Ye. "She is not my wife. I don't even give my wife such a big present," said Mr Kua.


This article was first published on Nov 15, 2014.
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