Hello Kitty event organiser faces jail for contempt

The Hello Kitty Go Around carnival was held at the Resorts World Sentosa's Coliseum from Oct 16 to Nov 10 last year.
The Hello Kitty Go Around carnival was held at the Resorts World Sentosa's Coliseum from Oct 16 to Nov 10 last year. PHOTO: ST FILE

RWS wants director punished for disobeying orders to attend two court hearings on assets

The boss of an events company that organised a Hello Kitty event at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) last year is facing two days in jail and a $40,000 fine for breaching court orders on his firm's unpaid debt of $320,000 to the resort.

Yesterday, RWS took out contempt of court proceedings, asking for Mr Jacky Teo Choon Leng to be punished for disobeying orders to attend two court hearings to disclose his company's assets.

Mr Deya Shankar Dubey, representing RWS, argued that two days' jail and a $40,000 fine would be an appropriate punishment for Mr Teo's refusal to appear in court without reason, even after he was told of the potential consequences.

Mr Teo is the sole director and shareholder of Mighty Eight, which organised the Hello Kitty Go Around carnival at RWS' Coliseum from Oct 16 to Nov 10 last year.

Mighty Eight owes RWS about $320,000 after the resort successfully sued for payment of various sums, including event charges and compensation for physical damage to the venue.

After winning the lawsuit in default - as the defendant did not respond to the action - RWS moved to enforce the judgment by applying for Mr Teo to be questioned on the company assets available to pay the debt.

On July 22, the High Court ordered him to attend a session on Aug 12. He did not turn up and did not pick up calls from Mr Dubey.

The hearing was adjourned to Aug 19. Again, he did not show up even though a letter informing him of the details was handed to his sister at his registered address.

Mr Teo was also absent for the court session yesterday. Mr Dubey told the court he phoned him before the hearing and he said he was not attending.

Mr Dubey also said it was unclear what had happened to Mighty Eight's paid-up capital of $500,000 and its revenue from the Hello Kitty event.

Justice Belinda Ang found that Mr Teo had breached the court order but gave him a chance to come to court to argue on the punishment to be meted out. She adjourned the case to Nov 25.

Mr Teo, when contacted by The Straits Times yesterday, declined to comment.

Mighty Eight had faced many woes over the two Hello Kitty events it organised last year and this year.

In the 2015 carnival, irate Hello Kitty fans demanded full refunds after a limited-edition paper figurine was pulled out from an exclusive pack. Fans were also upset that non-ticket holders could buy limited-edition items outside the venue, which they felt diluted the exclusivity of the merchandise.

In June this year, Mighty Eight organised a Robot Kitty exhibition at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre. About 20 people who were contracted to work at the exhibition made police reports, claiming they were not paid their wages.

The recruitment agency that coordinated manpower services for the exhibition also sued Mighty Eight for not paying its service fee of about $10,000 for hiring the workers. When contacted, its spokesman said the case was still pending.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2016, with the headline 'Hello Kitty event organiser faces jail for contempt'. Print Edition | Subscribe