Wong Fook Heng v Amixco Asia Pte Ltd

CourtCourt of Three Judges (Singapore)
JudgeWarren Khoo L H J
Judgment Date24 March 1992
Neutral Citation[1992] SGCA 19
Citation[1992] SGCA 19
Subject MatterWhether there was consideration for the cheque,Payment of option money by cheque,Whether payee of cheque entitled to judgment for payment on the dishonoured cheque although option contract repudiated,Option to purchase properties,Whether failure of consideration,Cheque dishonoured due to countermand of payment,Consideration,Bills of Exchange and Other Negotiable Instruments,Alleged repudiation of contract by payee of cheque,Cheques,Contract,Sufficiency of consideration,Claim by payee of cheque for payment on dishonoured cheque
Defendant CounselS Rai (Hin Rai & Tan)
Plaintiff CounselR Doraisamy (Cooma Lau & Loh)
Date24 March 1992
Published date19 September 2003
Docket NumberCivil Appeal No 9 of 1990

This is an appeal by the appellant against the decision of AP Rajah J, denying him judgment in his action against the respondents on a dishonoured cheque for the sum of $20,000. The facts of the case are as follows.

On 29 May 1981 the appellant, Wong Fook Heng, and three others granted the respondents, Amixco Asia Pte Ltd, an option to purchase certain office premises, namely, unit Nos 901-904, International Plaza (hereinafter `the properties`). The option was to expire at 4pm on 5 June 1981. The appellant owned unit 903 of the properties; his brother, Wong Dong, owned unit 901; his other brother, Wong Yoong Lee, owned unit 904; and his nephew, Wong Soh Har, owned unit 902. These three others were at no time parties to these proceedings. The appellant testified that the other three owners had given him the fullest authority and had entrusted him with the responsibility of selling their properties. All four properties were to be sold jointly in a single transaction. It was the appellant`s role to find a buyer. The other three owners would channel all inquiries regarding their properties to him.

On 30 May 1981 the respondents drew a Banque Nationale de Paris cheque for $20,000 dated 30 May 1981 in favour of the appellant. The cheque was given to the appellant in payment of the option money. He banked the cheque with the Bank of America to open a fixed deposit account.

On 1 June 1981 the appellant was informed by the Bank of America over the phone that the cheque he had received from the respondents would be dishonoured as the respondents had stopped payment.

On 2 June 1981 the appellant received a note from the Bank of America informing him that payment on the cheque had been countermanded by the respondents. Quek Chek Lan, the managing director of the respondents (`DW1`), testified that he had stopped the cheque because he became suspicious after he was informed by his colleague, Wong Soo Chong (`DW2`), that he (DW2) had received an `offer of sale` in respect of the properties which the respondents had earlier been granted an option to purchase. DW2 was also a director of the respondents. On further questioning by counsel for the plaintiff/appellant, DW1 admitted that no second option had yet been granted in respect of the said properties at the time he stopped the cheque. This is confirmed by DW2 who stated that the cheque was stopped `one or two days` before an option in respect of the properties was actually granted to him by the four property owners, including the appellant. On receipt of the note from his bank, the appellant consulted his solicitors and was advised that he could start anew in looking for potential buyers.

At this point, there is some slight confusion as to the facts. The appellant stated that on the night of 2 June or the morning of 3 June 1981, he received a phone call from callers interested in buying the properties. To the best of his memory, the appellant subsequently granted a second option in respect of the said properties on 3 June 1981. This is disputed by DW2 who eventually signed the acceptance copy of the second option. DW2 stated that if he remembered correctly, he gave his property agent the option money of $20,000 on 2 May or 2 June 1981, and in the late afternoon of the same day, he was given the option. He could not remember which month it was (May or June), but he remembered that `it happened on the same day`. However, on further questioning by counsel for the plaintiff/appellant, DW2 admitted that it could have been 2 June or 3 June 1981; he could not remember. The actual agreement for the second option was in fact dated 2 June 1981. DW2 eventually exercised his option and the properties were transferred to him.

On 4 June 1981 the respondents` solicitors sent the appellant`s solicitors a letter seeking to proceed with the purchase of the properties . A fresh cheque for $20,000 drawn by the respondents in favour of the appellant was enclosed as option money. By letter of even date, the appellant`s solicitors returned the...

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27 cases
  • Seah Kiat Seng v Amtel Exports Pte Ltd
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 8 August 1996
    ...this connection, plaintiff`s counsel invited the court to the pronouncements of Lai Kew Chai J in Wong Fook Heng v Amixco Asia Pte Ltd [1992] 2 SLR 342 at p 345 and the comments by this court in Min Hong Auto Supply Pte Ltd v Loh Chun Seng & Anor [1993] 3 SLR 498 at p 517A-B. He also relied......
  • Min Hong Auto Supply Pte Ltd v Loh Chun Seng and Another
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 24 April 1993
    ...Fatt [1992] SGHC 258 (refd) Tenax Steamship Co Ltd v The Brimnes (Owners) [1975] QB 929 (folld) Wong Fook Heng v Amixco Asia Pte Ltd [1992] 1 SLR (R) 654; [1992] 2 SLR 342 (folld) Evidence Act (Cap 97, 1990 Rev Ed) s 116 illus (g) (consd) Damages–Measure of damages–Contract for sale of prop......
  • Gay Choon Ing v Loh Sze Ti Terence Peter
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 8 January 2009
    ...sufficient but need not be adequate (see, for example, the Singapore Court of Appeal decision of Wong Fook Heng v Amixco Asia Pte Ltd [1992] 1 SLR (R) 654 at [23]) is that (as Rajah JC had pointed out in Digilandmall (see [28] above)) it will, absent exceptional circumstances, be all too ea......
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    • High Court (Singapore)
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    ...QB 1 (refd) Wiltopps (Asia) Ltd v Emmanuel & Barker [1998] 2 SLR (R) 778; [1999] 1 SLR 354 (refd) Wong Fook Heng v Amixco Asia Pte Ltd [1992] 1 SLR (R) 654; [1992] 2 SLR 342 (refd) Yuen Kun Yeu v Attorney-General of Hong Kong [1988] AC 175 (refd) Building Control Act (Cap 29,1999 Rev Ed)s 9......
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