Neo Mei Lan Helena v Long Melvin Anthony & Another

JudgeRegina Ow-Chang Yee Lin
Judgment Date17 July 2000
Neutral Citation[2000] SGDC 28
Published date19 September 2003
CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)




1. The Petitioner and the Respondent were married on 14 July 1984. On 2 June 2000, the Petitioner commenced divorce proceedings against the Respondent on the ground that the marriage had irretrievably broken down in that the Respondent had committed adultery with the Co-Respondent, and the Petitioner found it intolerable to live with him. In the alternative, the marriage had broken down irretrievably in that the Respondent had behaved in such a way that the Petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with him. The parties have three children, aged 12, 9 and 5. The Petition was served on the Respondent on 2 June 2000 who filed a Memorandum of Appearance under protest on 9 June 2000 contesting the Petitioner’s claims.

2. On 2 June 2000 the Petitioner applied by way of an ex-parte Summons-in-Chambers application for a Worldwide Mareva Injunction prohibiting the Respondent from disposing his assets up to the value of $600,000.00.

3. In her affidavit filed on 2 June 2000 in support of her application, the Petitioner gave a history of her marriage to the Respondent. Between 1984 to 1993, the parties lived in Singapore. Sometime in 1993, parties decided to migrate to Perth and sold their matrimonial home, a condominium at Diary Farm Estate.

4. The Petitioner said that during the course of the marriage the parties acquired the following properties:

(i) a piece of land in Murdoch, Western Australia purchased in 1986 (paragraph 9(a));

(ii) a condominium at Diary Farm Estate in 1990. This was their matrimonial home in Singapore before it was sold in December 1993 or January 1994 (see paragraphs 9(b) and 11);

(iii) 8/9 Keightley Road, Shenton Park, Western Australia ("the Keightley property"). This property was purchased in 1992 in the sole name of the Respondent (see paragraphs 9(c) and 16);

(iv) 7/233 Hensman Road, Western Australia ("the Hensman property") This property was purchased in December 1995 for A$85,000.00 or A$95,000.00 and was also in the Respondent’s name. The property was rented out and the rental collected was used to service the mortgage instalments. There was an outstanding mortgage of about A$64,000.00 and the property was worth about A$140,000.00 to A$160,000.00 (see paragraphs 9(d), 18 and 19);

(v) 20 Chesters Way, Winthrop, Western Australia purchased in October 1994 ("the Chesters Way property"). This was their current matrimonial home bought in their joint names. There was an outstanding mortgage of A$87,000.00 and the property was worth about A$300,000.00 in the open market (see paragraphs 12, 14 and 15);

(vi) 9, Lampered Mews (see paragraph 21);

(vii) 2 cars (see paragraph 22);

(viii) shares; and

(ix) Central Provident Fund (CPF) monies in both parties accounts.

5. The Petitioner said that there was a real risk that the Respondent would dissipate the matrimonial assets. She gave the following indicators:

(i) On or about 25 December 1999, the Respondent told the Petitioner that he had lost $30,000 playing in the stock Market. He also had a Visa credit card debt of about $8,000 (see paragraph 25);

(ii) After the Petitioner and their children migrated to Perth, the Respondent returned to Singapore sometime in January 1995 and stayed with the Petitioner’s sister at No. 68 Jalan Lim Tai See. On 18 January 2000, the Respondent left without a word to the Petitioner or her sister’s family (see paragraph 14);

(iii) Sometime in April 2000, the Respondent contacted the Petitioner and asked her to authorise the sale of the Keightley property but the Petitioner refused. The Respondent then threatened to sell off the Hensman property unless the Petitioner agreed to sell the Keightley property. The Petitioner subsequently lodged a caveat against the property which was scheduled for completion on 12 June 2000 (see paragraphs 16,17, 33, 37 and 40); and

(iv) On 19 April 2000, the Respondent telephoned the Petitioner and told her that he had an offer for the sale of the Hensman property. He threatened to sell this property without the Petitioner’s approval.

6. Upon hearing the Petitioner’s Counsel a worldwide Mareva Injunction was granted against the Respondent on 2 June 2000. The Respondent was also ordered to provide the Petitioner with particulars of all his assets in Singapore or worldwide.

7. The Respondent applied inter alia, to set aside the order of injunction made on 2 June 2000. His main contention was that he had not dissipated any of his assets within or out of jurisdiction. The sale of the Keightley property was to alleviate his financial burden of paying off the mortgages for their other properties. The sale proceeds from the Keightley property would be used to pay off the mortgages on the Keightley property and the Chesters Way property. Any balance after deducting costs and capital gains tax would be held on trust until settlement of the divorce proceedings (see paragraph 7(a)).

8. The Respondent also alleged that the Petitioner had failed to make full and frank disclosure of a material fact. The Petitioner had failed to state in her application for the Mareva Injunction that there were legal proceedings in respect of their divorce in existence in Australia prior to the filing of the Divorce Petition in Singapore.

9. With regard to the freezing of the Respondent’s CPF monies, he tendered a letter from the CPF Board which stated that the injunction was ultra vires section 24 of the CPF Act. He...

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