Chong Chee Keong v Official Assignee

CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
JudgeChoo Han Teck J
Judgment Date06 July 2005
Neutral Citation[2005] SGHC 119
Citation[2005] SGHC 119
Subject MatterDividend from liquidated company declared in favour of bankrupt after bankrupt discharged from bankruptcy,Official Assignee filing proof of debt on bankrupt's behalf against company in liquidation,Discharge,Whether Official Assignee entitled to dividend to pay bankrupt's creditors,Bankruptcy,Insolvency Law
Plaintiff CounselMohan Singh and Jorita Koh (K K Yap and Partners)
Defendant CounselKamala Ponnampalam (Assistant Official Assignee)
Docket NumberOriginating Summons No 38 of 2005
Published date07 July 2005
Date06 July 2005

6 July 2005

Judgment reserved.

Choo Han Teck J:

1 The plaintiff is 73 years old. He was a shareholder and managing director of a company called Lip Sin Construction Pte Ltd, a company incorporated in 1972. Its main business was to provide engineering and construction services. It was wound up on 13 August 1999 and the Official Receiver was appointed the Liquidator of its assets in liquidation. A few months later, on 10 December 1999, the plaintiff was himself adjudicated a bankrupt on a petition by OCBC Finance Ltd (“OCBC”). OCBC filed a proof of debt of $79,157.58. Another creditor, Lonpac Insurance Bhd (“Lonpac”), filed a claim for $23,170.17, making the total sum claimed $102,327.75. The Official Assignee, in turn, filed a proof of debt of $682,304.00 on 21 April 2001, on the plaintiff’s behalf against the company in liquidation. Nothing further of significance occurred until 30 June 2003 when the plaintiff received a letter from the Official Assignee stating that pursuant to s 125 of the Bankruptcy Act (Cap 20, 2000 Rev Ed), the Official Assignee had discharged the plaintiff from his bankruptcy on 30 June 2003. The certificate of discharge was given together with the letter of 30 June 2003. It should be noted that the plaintiff’s debts were not paid in full but his creditors did not oppose his discharge. They agreed, however, to accept, and did receive, the costs of the bankruptcy petition, as well as dividends of 0.42%.

2 On 5 July 2004, the Official Receiver wrote to inform the plaintiff that a dividend of 16.33% was declared in the liquidation of the company, and a sum of $111,420.24 was due to the plaintiff, being his entitlement. This was confirmed by another letter dated 30 July 2004. On 10 August 2004, the Official Assignee was of the view that the money vested in the Official Assignee and would be used to pay the plaintiff’s creditors, and thus asked that the Official Receiver to pay the sum of $111,420.24 to him instead for the stated purpose. Consequently, the plaintiff instituted this Originating Summons for a declaration that the money should be paid over to him. The Official Assignee disputed the claim on the said basis that the whole of the plaintiff’s property and assets had been vested in the Official Assignee upon the bankruptcy of the plaintiff. The Official Assignee submitted that:

The subsequent payment on the claim by [the company] is but merely the realization of this claim ie. the conversion of this asset into cash....

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3 cases
  • Re Lim Lye Hiang, ex parte the Official Assignee
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 11 October 2010
    ...LLH before she was discharged from bankruptcy Finally, counsel for LLH argues that the case of Chong Chee Keong v Official Assignee [2005] 3 SLR(R) 546 (“Chong Chee Keong”), in which Choo Han Teck J held that a dividend in bankruptcy which was paid to the bankrupt after his discharge from b......
  • Lim Lye Hiang v Official Assignee
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 2 November 2011
    ...109 (refd) Chng Suan Tze v Minister for Home Affairs [1988] 2 SLR (R) 525; [1988] SLR 132 (refd) Chong Chee Keong v Official Assignee [2005] 3 SLR (R) 546; [2005] 3 SLR 546 (overd) Cummings v Claremont Petroleum NL (1996) 185 CLR 124 (refd) Debtor, Re A,Ex parte the Trustee of the Property ......
  • Lim Lye Hiang v Official Assignee
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 2 November 2011
    ...discharge had the effect of revesting the rights to the Monies in her. She relied on the case of Chong Chee Keong v Official Assignee [2005] 3 SLR(R) 546 (“Chong Chee Keong”) as authority for this proposition. The Judge rejected this argument (at [31]–[32] of the Judgment), holding that Cho......

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