BY TOH YONG CHUAN AND CAROLYN KHEW, Straits Times
THE multi-millionaire widow who was allegedly manipulated into handing control of her assets to a former tour guide from China is now helping the police with investigations.
Madam Chung Khin Chun, 87, was seen entering the Police Cantonment Complex yesterday with her niece, Madam Hedy Mok, 60.
“The Commercial Affairs Department wanted to find out more details about what was missing from the house,” said Madam Mok last night.
Former tour guide Yang Yin, 40, who was living with Madam Chung at her $30 million Gerald Crescent bungalow from 2009 until last month, was arrested last week for suspected criminal breach of trust.
Madam Mok, who owns a tour agency, said she and her aunt were interviewed separately for about an hour each. She added that she was advised by police not to reveal what they told investigators.
On Tuesday, lawyers for Madam Mok and her aunt held a press conference, where they said Madam Chung was applying to terminate the Lasting Power of Attorney she gave Mr Yang in 2012.
A psychiatrist who assessed the widow certified that she had the mental capacity to do this despite having been diagnosed with dementia this year.
Madam Mok also began separate court proceedings last month to seek damages from Mr Yang for allegedly abusing her aunt’s trust, and to revoke the LPA.
After a closed-door hearing, it was decided the hearing to revoke the LPA would be adjourned for two weeks to give the Office of the Public Guardian time to consider Madam Chung’s application.
Mr Yang’s lawyer, Mr Joseph Liow, who was at the hearing, said his client had applied to the courts on Aug 29 to have Madam Chung returned to his care. On Aug 2, Madam Mok had taken her aunt out of her bungalow and into her home. A month later, she made Mr Yang’s wife and two children leave the bungalow, where they had been staying since last year. Mr Yang was overseas at the time.
This forced Mr Yang to withdraw his court application. As he was no longer living in the bungalow, “it did not make sense” for him to ask for the widow to be returned to his care, said Mr Liow, who declined to speak about other matters.
Mr Yang’s 34-year-old wife, Madam Weng Yandan and their children, aged two and eight, returned to their hometown in Hangzhou almost two weeks ago, reported Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao. She returned to China as she “feared for her children’s safety” and wanted to lead a “peaceful life”. Madam Weng added that she would help her husband fight his legal battles even if it meant having to sell his parents’ Hangzhou condominium unit, which is estimated to be worth $460,000.
She stopped short of revealing more but said she and her husband would say their piece when the “time is right”. Mr Yang’s 72-year-old father and 68-year-old mother, who are both retired, also said that their son was very filial and had never committed any crime.