Wong Ser San v Ng Cheong Ling

JudgeSuriakumari d/o Sidambaram
Judgment Date02 March 2000
Neutral Citation[2000] SGDC 6
Published date19 September 2003
CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)



A. The Facts

1. The Petitioner had filed an application for a worldwide mareva injunction. The matter was heard inter parte before me on 3 February 2000. At the hearing before me the Petitioner’s Counsel asked for discovery to be ordered for the parties to determine the extent of the assets and for an interim order to be made in the meantime to prevent the Respondent from dissipating the assets. After having heard the submissions of counsel for both the Petitioner and the Respondent, I made orders for discovery and a limited interim injunction order. The Respondent being dissatisfied with the decision, appeals.

2. At the hearing before me, the Petitioner’s Counsel relied on her written submissions and the Respondent’s Counsel relied on his skeletal submissions that he filed for the Appeal before the Honourable Judicial Commissioner Tay Yong Kwang. The contents of these documents have reference in respect of the submissions of the counsels. The Petitioner’s case is that for the past 1 years, the Respondent has been dissipating, and still continuing to dissipate, assets which would form part of the subject matter of the Divorce Petition 2545 of 1999 as the court hearing the Divorce Petition has the jurisdiction to deal with the issue of maintenance for the Petitioner and the children as well as the distribution of matrimonial property between the Petitioner and the Respondent. The Petitioner’s Counsel stated that the Petitioner has prayed for maintenance for herself and the children of the marriage as well as for a share of all matrimonial assets. The Petitioner’s Counsel however applied for a discovery order first in order that they would be able to ascertain the maximum claim on the total assets that may form matrimonial property. The Petitioner’s Counsel informed the court that the Respondent’s Affidavit fails to disclose full details of the assets he owns including who owns the companies and that the Petitioner wants to be apprised of all the matrimonial assets so that there will be a fair distribution of matrimonial property.

3. The Petitioner’s Counsel further submitted that the Respondent’s alleged acts of dissipating matrimonial property would reduce the value of the same to be divided between the parties. The Petitioner therefore contended that an interim mareva injunction ought to be made to prevent the Respondent from further disposing matrimonial assets until the parties have concluded mutual discovery of assets and arrive at an estimated maximum the Petitioner can lay claim to in the assets that form matrimonial property.

4. In support of the Petitioner’s application, the Petitioner’s Counsel referred to the Affidavit of Chan Ket Teck (filed on 30 November 2999), a partner of M/s Price Waterhouse Coopers, which showed that the Respondent had through numerous transfers, write-offs and set-offs made in the accounting records of companies in which he had a direct or indirect interest, created or attempted to create the impression that he has substantial debts. Chan’s Affidavit also showed that the Respondent had disposed of assets at below their market value, and that he had in the last couple of years reduced the value of the companies in which he has a direct interest by transferring assets from these companies to other companies in which he has an indirect interest. In this respect, I refer to Chan’s Affidavit for the details of the dissipation of assets by the Respondent.

5. The Petitioner’s Counsel therefore contended that the Respondent has, for the past couple of years and still continues to embark on a course of action with the sole purpose of diminishing the value of the matrimonial assets acquired by him and the Petitioner in the course of their marriage so as to prevent the Petitioner from obtaining a fair share in the same. The Petitioner’s Counsel also referred to portions of Chan’s Affidavit which confirmed the Petitioner’s allegations as regards certain companies in Singapore and Hong Kong. The Petitioner’s Counsel submitted that the Petitioner could not have found out about the dissipation without the report from Price Waterhouse Coopers.

6. The Petitioner’s Counsel also sought to refer to transcripts of telephone conversations between the Respondent and other persons to show that he indeed habours such an intention and was still pursuing in the course of conduct namely,...

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