Lim Cheng Wah v Ng Yaw Kim

JurisdictionSingapore
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
JudgeL P Thean J
Judgment Date09 November 1984
Neutral Citation[1984] SGHC 36
Citation[1984] SGHC 36
Publication Date19 September 2003
Date09 November 1984
Plaintiff CounselKaruppan Chettiar (Murphy & Dunbar)
Defendant CounselK Jayabalan (Cooma, Lau & Loh & M Karthigesu)
Docket NumberSuit No 1883 of 1981
Subjects 9 Civil Law Act (Cap 30),s 3 Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 [UK],Interest,Damages,Civil Procedure,O 42 r 12 Rule of the Supreme Court 1970,Court's discretion to award interest,s 22 Administration of Justice Act 1969 [UK]

The claim and the counterclaim in this action arose out of an accident on 9 May 1978 in which a motor car, SE 3 R, driven by the plaintiff collided with a taxi, SH 2383, driven by the defendant at or near the junction of East Coast Road and Still Road. The plaintiff claimed against the defendant for loss and damage to the car caused by the negligence of the defendant. The defendant denied negligence and in turn counterclaimed for loss and damage to his taxi caused by the negligence of the plaintiff.

When the action came on for trial the parties have agreed on the following issues, namely:

(a) that both plaintiff and defendant are equally to blame and that each party is liable to the other to the extent of 50% of the claim and counterclaim respectively.

(b) that on the basis of the said apportionment of liability the defendant is to pay to the plaintiff damages in the agreed sum of $13,505.38 and the plaintiff to pay to the defendant damages in the agreed sum of $900.



The only question for determination is whether interest should be awarded on the said amounts respectively, and if so, at what rate and for what period should the interest be awarded.

Mr Karuppan for the plaintiff relied on s 9 of the Civil Law Act (Cap 30) and submitted that in this case the plaintiff had incurred and paid the expenses of repairing the car, SE 3 R, and should be compensated for having been kept out of the use of the money and that in these circumstances interest should be awarded. Mr Jayabalan, on the other hand, contended that though s 9 of the Act gave the court a discretion to award interest, that discretion should not be exercised. He relied on Ban Pet Hock v Ong Ah Ho [1966] 2 MLJ 253 in which Choor Singh J refused to allow any interest on the amount awarded for damages for personal injuries, and also on Lai Chi Kay & Ors v Lee Kuo Shin [1980-1981] SLR 513 in which FA Chua J expressed his agreement with Choor Singh J and disallowed interest on the damages for personal injuries.

Section 9 of the Civil Law Act (Cap 30) clearly confers on the court a discretion to award interest on the amount for which judgment is given and the said section is in the following terms:

In any proceedings tried in any court of record for the recovery of any debt or damages, the court may, if it thinks fit, order that there shall be included in the sum for which judgment is given interest at such rate as it thinks fit on the whole or any part of the debt or damages for the
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7 cases
  • TKM (Singapore) Pte Ltd v Export Credit Insurance Corporation Of Singapore Ltd
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 14 September 1992
    ...[1977] 2 Lloyd's Rep 444 (folld) Hilton v Plustitle Ltd [1989] 1 WLR 149; [1988] 3 All ER 1051 (refd) Lim Cheng Wah v Ng Yaw Kim [1983-1984] SLR (R) 723; [1984-1985] SLR 497 (refd) Lloyd's v Harper (1880) 16 Ch D 290 (refd) London, Chatham and Dover Railway Company v South Eastern Railway C......
  • Tan Siew Bin Ronnie v Chin Wee Keong
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 8 October 2007
    ...delayed owing to no fault of the defendant, the court will take this into account in the award of interest: Lim Cheng Wah v Ng Yaw Kim [1984-1985] SLR 497. As pertinently observed by Justice Kan in Nirumalan’s case, a plaintiff’s claim to pre-trial interest is diminished if the plaintiff is......
  • ECICS Holdings Ltd (formerly known as Export Credit Insurance Corp of Singapore Ltd) v TKM (Singapore) Pte Ltd
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 24 March 1994
    ...Helmsing Schiffahrts GmbH & Co KG v Malta Drydocks Corporation [1977] 2 Lloyd's Rep 444 (folld) Lim Cheng Wah v Ng Yaw Kim [1983-1984] SLR (R) 723; [1984-1985] SLR 497 (refd) Miliangos v George Frank (Textiles) Ltd (No 2) [1977] QB 489; [1976] 2 Lloyd's Rep 434; [1976] 3 All ER 599 (ref......
  • Ng Chee Wee v Tan Chin Seng
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 28 February 2013
    ...owing to no fault of the defendant, the court will take this into account in the award of interest: Lim Cheng Wah v Ng Yaw Kim [1983-1984] SLR(R) 723. As pertinently observed by Justice Kan in [Nirumalan V Kanapathi Pillay v Teo Eng Chuan [2003] 3 SLR(R) 601], a plaintiff's claim to pre-tri......
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