Yee Kit Hong, Liquidator of Hup Seng Bee Construction Pte Ltd v G and W Ready Mix Pte Ltd

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeValerie Thean Pik Yuen
Judgment Date04 May 2004
Neutral Citation[2004] SGDC 111
Citation[2004] SGDC 111
Published date29 November 2005
Plaintiff CounselCheong Kok Fu (Guofu)
Defendant CounselRichard Lai (Lai Mun Onn and Co)

4 May 2004

District Judge Valerie Thean:

1. In this case, summary judgement was ordered against the defendants by the deputy registrar at first instance. I dismissed the appeal from the deputy registrar's decision, and the defendants have appealed therefrom.


2. The plaintiff is the liquidator of Hup Seng Bee Construction Pte Ltd ('HSB'). The defendants are a mixer and supplier of materials for contractors.

3. At the material time, HSB was a Housing & Development Board ('HDB') main contractor. Under the standard terms of HSB's contract with HDB, the main contractor was to purchase raw materials, namely sand, aggregate (or stones) and cement from HDB at fixed prices for the construction work for the HDB at the awarded sites.

4. The defendants were HSB's subcontractors. By two contracts evidenced in writing dated 13 July 2000 and 17 October 2001, the defendants agreed to supply mixed materials to HSB at the HDB sites at Kallang Whampoa and Toa Payoh respectively. HSB was to purchase raw materials from the HDB at HDB prices and supply them to the defendants. The defendants would supply mixed materials to HSB upon request from time to time. Where waterproofing mixed materials were required, the defendants would purchase a waterproofing admixture and charge HSB an additional $8 per metric ton of mixed material supplied.

5. In October 2002, the arrangement was terminated by HSB. Subsequently, HSB was wound up on 24 February 2003, and the plaintiff was appointed its liquidator. The plaintiff claimed $145,743.03 on the basis of a letter from the defendants dated 8 May 2003.

Whether there is a viable defence


6. In their Defence and Counterclaim, filed on 24 November 2003, the defendants contended that they were claiming for damages against HSB for breach of contract, amounting to $179,037.86, and that this sum was to be set off against the claimed sum. The defendants had filed their proof of debt for the balance sum of $33,293.93. In this pleading, no particulars of breach of contract by the plaintiffs were given.

7. An Amended Defence and Counterclaim was filed on 15 December 2003, and listed four breaches:

(i) Compensation on the price differential between HDB materials and the market price;

(ii) Loss of profits;

(iii) Storage costs; and

(iv) Indemnity cost from admixture supplier.

8. There were no details as to how these claims arose. Further and Better Particulars were filed on 9 January 2004, but these were rather confused.



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