Ahong Construction (S) Pte Ltd v United Boulevard Pte Ltd

JurisdictionSingapore
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
JudgeG P Selvam J
Judgment Date16 June 1993
Neutral Citation[1993] SGHC 129
Citation[1993] SGHC 129
Published date19 September 2003
Plaintiff CounselC S Wu and John Chung (Donaldson & Burkinshaw)
Date16 June 1993
Defendant CounselWong Meng Meng and Lan Khoon (Wong Meng Meng & Partners)
Docket NumberOriginating Motion No 42 of 1992
Subject MatterLeave to appeal to High Court,Whether question of law arose out of award,Arbitration,s 16(1) Arbitration Act (Cap 10),Recourse against award,Remittance of award to arbitrator for reconsideration,Exercise of court's powers to remit award,Award,Principles applicable

: This judgment is in respect of an arbitration relating to a dispute arising under a building contract between the respondents (`the developers`) and the applicants (`the contractors`) and dated 15 February 1982. The arbitrator made an award on 7 May 1992 (`the award`).

It is not in dispute that the effect of the award was that a sum of S$1,920,420.67 which the developers had deducted from six interim payment certificates issued by the architects had to be refunded by the owners to the contractors. The arbitrator further awarded the sum of $1,260,695 as extra preliminaries recoverable by the contractors. Other sums were also allowed in favour of the contractors. As against these sums, the owners were allowed a sum of $445,882. After set[dash ]off the nett amount which the contractors say was due to them under the award is $3,189,459.61.

The contractors had claimed interest. The arbitrator dealt with the interest claim in these words:

Claim for interest - I have also decided that the claims by both the claimants and the respondents for sums due from one party to the other consequent upon my decisions in this arbitration are to be rejected and disallowed.



Being dissatisfied with the arbitrator`s rejection of the claim for interest, the contractors by OM 42/92 sought the following:

(a) leave to appeal against the rejection of interest on the ground that a question of law arose out of the award;

(b) alternatively, order for the award to be remitted to the arbitrator pursuant to s 16(1) of the Arbitration Act (`the Act`) with a direction that interest should be awarded on the sums due to the contractors under the award at a rate or rates and for a period or periods that the arbitrator may fix.



It was contended for the contractors that the rejection and the disallowance of their claim for interest was a failure by the arbitrator to exercise his discretion judicially and accordingly he had erred in law. It amounted to injustice to the contractors because the arbitrator disregarded the correct principle and practice in regard to the awarding of interest.

Appeal on a question of law

Under the present law the court has no jurisdiction to set aside or remit an award on the ground of errors of fact or law on the face of the award.

An appeal to the High Court from an arbitration award is possible provided a question of law arises out of the award. A question of law means a point of law in controversy which has to be resolved after...

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24 cases
  • Dynamic Investments Pte Ltd v Lee Chee Kian Silas and Others
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 13 December 2007
    ...above ruling, cited with approval the following statement by GP Selvam JC in Ahong Construction (S) Pte Ltd v United Boulevard Pte Ltd [2000] 1 SLR 749 (“Ahong Construction”) at A question of law means a point of law in controversy which has to be resolved after opposing views and arguments......
  • Northern Elevator Manufacturing Sdn Bhd v United Engineers (Singapore) Pte Ltd (No 2)
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 26 March 2004
    ...while the latter, in itself, does not. 18 An opportunity arose for comment in Ahong Construction (S) Pte Ltd v United Boulevard Pte Ltd [2000] 1 SLR 749. In that case, G P Selvam JC (as he then was) stated at A question of law means a point of law in controversy which has to be resolved aft......
  • Permasteelisa Pacific Holdings Ltd v Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co Ltd
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 15 February 2005
    ...holding was an endorsement of the statement of the law by G P Selvam JC in Ahong Construction (S) Pte Ltd v United Boulevard Pte Ltd [2000] 1 SLR 749 at A question of law means a point of law in controversy which has to be resolved after opposing views and arguments have been considered. It......
  • Seino Merchants Singapore Pte Ltd v Porcupine Pte Ltd
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 31 August 1999
    ...for the appellant Michael Lai (Colin Ng & Partners) for the respondent. Ahong Construction (S) Pte Ltd v United Boulevard Pte Ltd [1993] 2 SLR (R) 208; [2000] 1 SLR 749 (folld) Building and Civil Engineering Holidays Scheme Management Ltd v Post Office [1966] 1 QB 247 (folld) Grill v The Ge......
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