BY TOH YONG CHUAN AND CAROLYN KHEW, Straits Times
IN A dramatic turn of events, the wealthy widow who handed control of her assets to a tour guide from China now wants him stripped of the guardianship.
Madam Chung Khin Chun, 87, yesterday asked the Office of Public Guardian (OPG) to cancel the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) which she gave Mr Yang Yin in 2012.
The move came after a psychiatrist who examined her last week found that she has the mental capacity to revoke the LPA, despite suffering from dementia.
The OPG last night confirmed that it “has received Madam Chung’s application to revoke her LPA and is reviewing it”.
The LPA is a legal document that allows a person to appoint another to make key decisions on personal welfare and financial matters should he or she lose the mental ability to do so.
Madam Chung’s niece, Madam Hedy Mok, had earlier started court proceedings to revoke the LPA, accusing Mr Yang of manipulating her aunt and spending her wealth.
The 40-year-old Yang moved into Madam Chung’s $30 million Gerald Crescent bungalow in 2009, a year after acting as her private tour guide during a trip to China.
His wife and two children followed him last year.
In 2010, Madam Chung, whose assets are worth about $40 million, changed her will and left everything to him.
Madam Mok’s lawyer, Mr Peter Doraisamy, declined to comment on whether they will contest the will, saying only: “That is confidential at this point in time.”
Madam Chung’s decision to revoke the LPA was announced by her lawyer, Mr Eugene Thuraisingam, at a press briefing yesterday.
Meanwhile, Madam Mok will continue to press on with court proceedings against Mr Yang, and a pre-trial conference is scheduled for today.
Mr Doraisamy explained that this was needed in case Mr Yang contests Madam Chung’s decision to strip him of the LPA.
“There could well be a challenge,” he said. “Since the matter is already before the courts, let the courts decide.
“They have the jurisdiction and the power.”
Madam Mok, the 60-year-old owner of a tour agency, added: “I am doing this for the sole purpose of protecting my aunt’s interest.”
Should the LPA be revoked, “I will work according to all her wishes – if everything goes to charity as originally planned, it will happen.”
She was referring to an earlier will by Madam Chung in which the widow planned to leave most of her assets to charity.
Mr Yang, who is a permanent resident, was arrested last week for suspected criminal breach of trust. He remains under investigation.