Woman claims brothers behind tussle over flat

SINGAPORE - A woman being sued by her 91-year-old mother over a Housing Board flat claimed on Wednesday that the widow had been goaded by her sons for their own gain.

Madam Yvonne Goh Mei Ling (above, right), 63, told the High Court that her siblings - Mr Eric Goh Wai Mun, 69, and Mr Evan Goh Wyming, 65 - had "orchestrated" the suit to reverse a move by their parents to share the property in Clementi with her and her sister, Madam Yvette Goh Meich'ang, 53.

The men "unduly influenced and coerced" Madam Eileen Chia Yoke Mui to start the action, the retiree claimed.

"She is a typical Chinese mother, who would prefer her sons over her daughters, so we are not at all surprised that she is put up to this (by our brothers). We want to ensure that the true intention of our late father is upheld in all of this," Madam Yvonne Goh said.

Her late father Dennis Goh Chin Chye was a pioneer of the Scouts movement here and a respected Anglo-Chinese School physical education teacher. He passed away on March 5 at the age of 94.

On Wednesday, Madam Yvonne Goh insisted that her father wanted the sisters, who live in England, to have a "home base" to stay whenever they return - rather than have to sleep on "park benches" or "under Anderson bridge".

She added that her brothers owed money to her parents with "probably no prospect" of them returning it.

In April and May, Madam Chia, taking the stand in a wheelchair, insisted that there were no favourites among the children, and that she and her late husband had always intended to leave their flat equally to the four of them.

She claimed she had been harassed by her older daughter into making the sisters joint owners of the property in 2009, and that she was not properly advised on the implications.

When a co-owner dies in a joint tenancy, the share goes to the other owners. But if Madam Chia is successful and the sisters' names are removed, all four siblings will get an equal share when their mother dies.


Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.