Sincere Watch Limited v Bakery Mart Pte Ltd (Ng Yew Hong, Third Party)

CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
JudgeWoo Bih Li J
Judgment Date10 April 2003
Neutral Citation[2003] SGHC 85
Citation[2003] SGHC 85
Docket NumberSuit No 1057 of 2002 (Registrar's
Subject MatterCivil Procedure,Whether loan repayable by garnishee to judgment debtor on demand can be garnished without prior demand by judgment debtor on garnishee,Garnishee proceedings,Enforcement,Judgments and orders
Published date07 October 2003
Plaintiff CounselRoland Tong (Wong Tan & Molly Lim LLC)
Date10 April 2003
Defendant CounselIsmail Atan (Gabriel Peter & Partners),Ng Yeow Khoon (Shook Lin & Bok)

1 On 21 December 2992, the judgment creditor Sincere Watch Limited (“Sincere Watch”) obtained judgment in the present action against the judgment debtor Bakery Mart Pte Ltd (“Bakery”) for $1,971,264.11 comprising a principal sum of $1,930,000, interest and costs. Pursuant to the judgment, Sincere Watch applied for and obtained on 21 December 2002 a Garnishee Order To Show Cause against the garnishee, Ng Yew Hong, who is also known as Charles Ng (“NYH”). NYH was and is a director of Bakery.

2 The accounting records of Bakery showed that NYH was owing Bakery $707,431. On the other hand, NYH was owed $300,000 for director’s fees and claimed to set-off the $300,000 against what was supposedly owed by him to Bakery. In view of this claim of set-off, the Assistant Registrar who heard the matter when the Garnishee Order To Show Cause came up for hearing, deferred his decision on the $300,000 but made a Garnishee Order Absolute in respect of the balance i.e $407,431. NYH then appealed and his appeal was heard by me. I dismissed his appeal. NYH has appealed to the Court of Appeal.

Reasons for decision

3 Before the Assistant Registrar, NYH relied on an affidavit of Lee Sung Fun. Lee is the auditor of Bakery but Lee said that he was signing his affidavit in his capacity as an accountant and not as an auditor. It is significant that all Lee said in his affidavit was that he had been informed by the directors of Bakery that entries made in Bakery’s audited accounts were not reflective of the actual position of the amount due from NYH to Bakery and he was instructed to adjust the accounts. The intended adjustment was to reduce the sum owing by NYH and to pass on to others the amount or amounts by which NYH’s debt was reduced.

4 After hearing arguments, the Assistant Registrar did not accept the intended adjustment and made the Garnishee Order Absolute I have mentioned.

5 Before me, Mr Ismail Atan, Counsel for NYH, orally sought leave to admit an affidavit of NYH which had been served on Sincere Watch’s solicitors at 6.38pm of the day before the hearing. This was objected to by Sincere Watch’s Counsel, Mr Roland Tong and Counsel for the Receiver & Manager of Bakery, Mr Ng Yeow Khoon.

6 This latest affidavit of NYH exhibited the latest audited accounts of Bakery as at 31 March 2002, purportedly signed on 31 January 2003. It purported to show a reduced sum of $375,920 owing by NYH to Bakery which was different from the $367,431 balance which would have resulted if the Assistant Registrar had accepted the intended adjustment.

7 Mr Atan sought to justify his oral application on the basis that the AGM of Bakery was on 28 February 2003 and Bakery’s secretary was tasked to file the Accounts and Annual Returns with the Registry of Companies and Businesses but failed to do so. Accordingly, NYH had to file the same himself. Mr Atan...

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