Foo Siang Him v Attorney General

JudgeLai Kew Chai J
Judgment Date07 August 1984
Neutral Citation[1984] SGHC 21
Docket NumberSuit No 1216 of 1982
Date07 August 1984
Published date19 September 2003
Plaintiff CounselKaruppan Chettiar (Murphy & Dunbar)
Citation[1984] SGHC 21
Defendant CounselCharles Lim Aeng Cheng (Attorney General's Chambers)
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Subject MatterFatal accident,Causation,Tort,Damages,Negligence

I find the defendant entirely to blame for the accident.

On 23 August 1979 at about 6.30pm Foo Moo Say, the deceased, was riding his motorcycle AV4134 along Mandai Road in the direction of Sembawang Road to see his friend.
According to his brother, who saw the deceased before he left home at about 6pm that evening, and whose evidence I accept, he appeared normal and was not in any way affected by alcohol. He had ridden from his home in Marsiling Drive for some 10-12 km when he met with the fatal accident. I find that DW1 and DW2, who were military personnel in the army, had attempted to push-start jeep No 1307 from the grass verge where it was parked onto the road. It is to be emphasized that according to AB7, a photograph of the scene of the accident taken shortly after the event, the grass verge was on higher ground, some six inches or so higher than the road surface of Mandai road. The road was also sloping towards the direction of Sembawang. I am satisfied after hearing the evidence that the defendants in push-starting the jeep had created a sudden danger in the way of the deceased.

According to Corporal Neo Choon Teow (DW1), the commander of the jeep and the driver, Neo Aik Chian (DW2), they had completed their road block duties that evening at Mandai Road, 18 km milestone.
The road block was to enable the soldiers to cross the road. At about 6.30pm they started to push-start the jeep which had a weak battery. The jeep was parked on the grass verge. The driver pushed the jeep from the nearside, near the driver`s seat with one hand manipulating the steering wheel and the other hand pushing the jeep. Corporal Neo Choon Teow pushed the jeep from the rear. The hazard lights of the jeep were switched on. The jeep was manoeuvred onto the road by a sharper turn than usual to the driver`s right because there was a tree in front of the jeep and there was a depression on the grass verge in front of the jeep. When the front portion of the jeep and the two front wheels were on the road, the jeep stopped according to them. The driver got into the jeep. The corporal began to push the jeep. He heard the approaching roar of the motorcycle, he turned and waved down the deceased. He then heard a screech, shortly followed by the collision.

I do not accept their evidence that the jeep had been pushed slowly onto the road.
I also do not accept that the jeep had stopped. The jeep was parked on the grass verge, which was a slope with a level of some six inches...

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2 cases
  • Thorben Langvad Linneberg v Leong Mei Kuen
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • 24 October 2012
    ...(refd) Edrick Greene v Ferosa Sookdeo [2009] UKPC 31 (refd) Fardon v Harcourt-Rivington (1932) 146 LT 391 (refd) Foo Siang Him v AG [1983-1984] SLR (R) 586; [1984-1985] SLR 434 (refd) Goh Sin Huat Electrical Pte Ltd v Ho See Jui [2012] 3 SLR 1038 (folld) Govinda Raju v Laws [1966] 1 MLJ 188......
  • Thorben Langvad Linneberg v Leong Mei Kuen
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • 24 October 2012
    ...with costs. [emphasis added in italics and in bold italics] In the Singapore High Court decision of Foo Siang Him v Attorney-General [1983-1984] SLR(R) 586, the court had to decide a case relating to a fatal motorcycle accident. Lai Kew Chai J, in allowing the claim and finding the defendan......

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