Ho Tong Cheong and Others v Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
CourtPrivy Council
JudgeLord Guest
Judgment Date15 January 1969
Neutral Citation[1969] SGPC 1
Citation[1969] SGPC 1
Docket NumberPrivy Council Appeal No 22 of 1967
Plaintiff CounselJG Le Quesne QC and Adrian Hamilton (Parker Garrett & Co)
Published date19 September 2003
Date15 January 1969
Defendant CounselLA Blundell QC, Ronald Bernstein and Christopher Priday (Titmuss Sainer & Webb)

This appeal is concerned with the construction of a provision of the Singapore Control of Rent Ordinance 1953. The respondent landlords claim possession of premises No 203 South Bridge Road, Singapore, from their tenants, the appellants. There is also a claim for arrears of rent and mesne profits. In the High Court at Singapore Chua J gave judgement for the respondents. His order was unanimously affirmed by the Federal Court of Malaysia.

Section 14 of the Control of Rent Ordinance (Cap 242) provides as follows:

No order or judgment for the recovery of possession of any premises comprised in a tenancy shall be made or given except in the cases set our in this Part of this Ordinance.



Section 15(1)(h) provides:

In the case of all premises such an order or judgement as is referred to in s 14 of this Ordinance may be made in any of the following cases, namely:

...

( h ) Where the tenant or any other person occupying premises under him has knowingly committed breach of any written law regulating any business carried on upon the premises or of any provision of the Municipal Ordinance or of any rule or by-law made thereunder affecting the premises which exposes the landlord to any penalty, fine or forfeiture;



The word `knowingly` was added in 1953 as an amendment to the Control of Rent Ordinance 1947 (s 14(1)(k)).
The relevant provisions of the Municipal Ordinance (Cap 133) are contained in s 144:

(1) Every person intending to erect any building shall submit to the commissioners plans and specifications of the proposed building prepared in accordance with this Ordinance and the building by-laws. When such plans and specifications are certified by the Municipal Architect or Municipal Engineer to be in accordance with this Ordinance and the building by-laws, they may be approved by the president on behalf of the commissioners.

...

(7) No person shall commence any building operations involving the erection of a building or, in the case of any operations the progress whereof has been suspended for a period exceeding three months, resume any such building operations unless:

(a) he has given to the commissioners four days` notice of his intention to commence or resume such operations with particulars of the intended works; and

(b) a plan and specification of the building have been approved by the commissioners or the president within one year before the date of the notice.

...

(10) Any person who:

(a) commences or resumes building operations in contravention of sub-s (7);

...

shall be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars and to a daily fine of twenty-five dollars for every day on which the offence is continued after conviction ...

(11) For the purposes of this section and of ss 144B, 145 and 146 a person shall be deemed to erect a building who:

...

(g) infringes the provisions of this Ordinance as to buildings or of the building by-laws; or

(h) renews or repairs any existing building in such a manner as to involve a renewal, reconstruction or erection of any portion of an outer or party wall to the extent of one storey in height whatever the material of such outer or party wall is ...

(12) Where any building operations are commenced or carried out in respect of any building, they shall be deemed to have been commenced or carried out by the owner of the land whereon such building is erected and he shall be liable therefor.



Section 392 provides:

Except in any case where by reason of the act or omission complained of an injury or danger to health subsists at the date of the complaint no person shall be liable to any fine or penalty under this Ordinance or under any rule or by-law made thereunder for any offence under this Ordinance unless the complaint respecting such offence is made within twelve months next after the commission of such offence.



The Local Government Ordinance 1957 was passed for the purpose of repealing and re-enacting with amendments the provisions of the Municipal Ordinance (see s 320).
Section 169 of the Local Government Ordinance is in similar terms to s 144 of the Municipal Ordinance, but s 320 of the Local Government Ordinance was never brought into effect with the result that at the relevant date both Ordinances were running on parallel courses.

The appellants held the premises of the respondents on a monthly tenancy which tenancy was duly determined by notice to quit expiring on 31 October 1964.
The respondents took proceedings for recovery of possession on 1 March 1965. The appellants pleaded that they were protected by the provisions of s 14 of the Control of...

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3 cases
  • Singapore Hotel v Airport Hire Cars
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 3 September 1968
    ...... of a garage at the rear of No 2 Tanjong Katong Road let to them at a monthly rent of $220 ... Lim Saw Choo [1958] MLJ 5 and Ho Tong Cheong v Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp [1965-1968] ......
  • Tay Sai Hiang v Tan Ee Keok
    • Singapore
    • Federal Court (Singapore)
    • 16 February 1968
    ...... v Lim Saw Choo , in the case of Ho Tong Cheong v Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp ......
  • Teo Boon Hong v Tan Ewe Wah
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 15 September 1980
    ...... of the premises: see for examples: Ho Tong Cheong & Ors v Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd ......

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