Singapore

Family of former SA Tours boss sues mistress

They allege she fraudulently transferred his stake in the travel agency to herself

The wife and children of the former boss of SA Tours, who now has dementia, are suing his longtime mistress on his behalf, alleging that she had fraudulently transferred his stake in the travel agency to herself more than eight years ago.

The family of Mr Ng Kong Yeam, 80, allege that Madam Kay Swee Pin, 66, had filled in a pre-signed form to transfer his shareholding in SA Tours' parent company Natwest Holdings, which was then valued at $20 million.

The case opened in the High Court yesterday, with lawyers for the family citing an e-mail exchange in 2008.

In her e-mail asking Mr Ng to give SA Tours to her, Madam Kay, who was the agency's managing director, requested that he sign the form, promising not to carry out the transfer until he was "gone".

He replied that he will leave SA Tours to her in his will.

Mr Ng's family contend that after getting the signed form, Madam Kay filled it in without his knowledge and consent, transferring to herself the 799,999 shares that he held in Natwest.

This made Madam Kay, who originally held one share in Natwest, the sole owner of the holding company, which also owns a $4 million apartment in Cairnhill.

The form, which is dated Nov 1, 2010, was lodged with the company secretary on April 1, 2011.

It states that Madam Kay paid $1 million for the shares, but the family contend that the sum has not been paid and in any case, was grossly inadequate.

The Ngs, who are Malaysians, are asking the court to reverse the share transfer and are seeking at least $1 million in damages.

Madam Kay's daughter with Mr Ng, Eva Mae, 32, has also been named as a defendant for allegedly conspiring with her mother.

Mr Ng is legally married to Madam Ling Towi Sing, 80. They own a law firm in Johor Baru and have three children, son Gabriel, 43, and daughters Irene, 55, and Iris, 47.

He began an affair with Madam Kay in the 1980s and lived with her and their daughter for 20 years up till 2013. The Cairnhill apartment was their family home from 1995.

Mr Ng is now living with his wife in their Johor Baru home.

Madam Kay's lawyer, Mr Suresh Damodara, argued in his opening statement that Mr Ng eventually decided to sign the transfer form in November 2010 for his client's benefit. He argued that Mr Ng's family had no personal knowledge of what had transpired.

He also argued that in a will Mr Ng made in August 2011, there was no reference to his Natwest shares because these had been given to Madam Kay.

But the family, represented by Senior Counsel Roderick Martin, noted that Mr Ng made a later will in February 2012, in which he bequeathed the shares to Gabriel and Eva Mae.

Mr Martin's opening statement said objective evidence showed that Mr Ng had no intention of giving the shares to Madam Kay. This included a 2012 financial statement signed by Mr Ng and Madam Kay, which stated that he had a "deemed interest" in the shares.

The opening statement also highlighted Madam Kay's "propensity" to lie and forge, citing the judgment in her failed defamation suit in 2010 against the Singapore Island Country Club and her admission that she had signed Mr Ng's signature on a Lasting Power of Attorney she registered in 2012.

The trial continues.

COURT & CRIME