Hearing to determine wealthy widow's mental state to take place today

A hearing to determine the mental health of 87-year-old widow Madam Chung Khin Chun will take place in the Family Court later on Friday. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
A hearing to determine the mental health of 87-year-old widow Madam Chung Khin Chun will take place in the Family Court later on Friday. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A hearing to determine the mental health of 87-year-old widow Madam Chung Khin Chun will take place in the Family Court later today.

Last month, the court had ordered the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to appoint a medical expert to review Madam Chung's mental state.

This will then allow the court to decide if she can take back control of her assets by revoking the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) that she gave former China tour guide Yang Yin in 2012, four years after meeting him.

Yang was living at Madam Chung's $30 million Gerald Crescent bungalow from 2009 until this September, when he was evicted by her niece Hedy Mok.

Madam Mok, 60, has accused Yang of manipulating her aunt into giving him control of her assets, and is suing him.

Yang claimed Madam Chung wanted him as a "grandson". He became a Singapore permanent resident in 2011. A year later, Madam Chung granted him a LPA, giving him full control of her assets.

When Madam Mok found out about this, she took her aunt to live with her, evicted the Yang family and began court proceedings, which included suing Yang for allegedly breaching his legal duties.

The OPG's application came shortly after Madam Chung's lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam announced on Sept 23 that she had applied to the OPG to cancel the LPA. A psychiatrist who examined her found that she had the mental capacity to do so, despite suffering from dementia.

On Wednesday, Mr Yang's lawyer Daniel Zhu and Mr Andrew Lee, lawyer for Madam Chung's niece Madam Hedy Mok said that the medical report had been submitted to the court on Monday. "All parties have received the medical report and will be reviewing it," added Mr Zhu.

An OPG spokesman had earlier explained that getting the independent medical assessment was necessary to protect the interests and assets of Madam Chung.

"The OPG will decide on the cancellation of the LPA after the court has made a determination on Madam Chung's mental capacity," said the spokesman.

kcarolyn@sph.com.sg