Former NSP chief Lim Tean issued writ of summons over unpaid loan of US$150,000 which he disputed

Mr Lim Tean has appealed to the High Court about the matter and the case is still pending.
Mr Lim Tean has appealed to the High Court about the matter and the case is still pending.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO FILE

SINGAPORE - Former National Solidarity Party (NSP) chief Lim Tean has appealed against the issuance of a writ of summons over a loan of US$150,000 (S$205,720) he had allegedly not repaid.

The plaintiff, Chinese national Huang Min, had stated in his court documents that he had loaned the amount to Mr Lim.

In August, State Courts Deputy Registrar Regina Lim Siew Mei ruled that Mr Lim, who is a lawyer, has to repay Mr Huang.

A summary judgment by District Judge Tan May Tee on Nov 22 this year stated that she agreed with Ms Lim that Mr Huang had established a prima facie case for judgment on his claim for the repayment of the loan.

Following this, Mr Lim appealed to the High Court and the case is still pending.

Represented by lawyers Lim Mingguan and Bestlyn Loo, Mr Huang, who is based in Shanghai, issued the writ of summons filed on Dec 14 last year.

According to Mr Huang, on or around Sept 13, 2013, he agreed to lend US$150,000 to Mr Lim, who agreed to repay the amount by Nov 30 that year.

The statement of claim did not reveal the reasons behind the loan.

Court documents stated that the Chinese national transferred the money to Mr Lim on or around Sept 17, 2013, but Mr Lim did not repay any part of the amount by the agreed date.

Referring to Mr Huang's claim, Judge Tan said: "On or around Feb 21, 2017, the defendant e-mailed the plaintiff to say, among other things, that he was 'making arrangements to start paying (the plaintiff) back within the next two months'.

"The defendant also stated that he regretted the 'long delay', was 'very sorry for the inconvenience caused', and assured the plaintiff that the loan would be repaid."

In his defence, Mr Lim denied Mr Huang's claim "in its entirety". The judge added that according to Mr Lim, the Chinese national had expressed his desire to buy iron ore from Mr Lim's Indonesian mine through a firm called Falcon Resources (FRC).

Judge Tan said: "The defendant's case was that the plaintiff had visited his mine in or around 2012 or 2013 and was happy with the quality of the iron ore.

"In or around September 2013, the defendant had agreed to sell iron ore from his mine to FRC, and requested a down payment of US$150,000 for the sale of the first cargo with details of the sale to be finalised and completed with the plaintiff and FRC."

The judge added that according to Mr Lim, Mr Huang wanted the down payment to be termed as a loan "for his own internal purposes".

In her summary judgment, she said: "On my examination of the documents... it was clear to me that they were inadequate to support the defendant's assertion that the sum of US$150,000 was a down payment for the sale of iron ore to the plaintiff's company."

The judge also said Mr Lim's e-mail was an "unequivocal admission" of the loan.

News reports in October stated that Mr Lim, who announced his resignation from NSP in a Facebook post in May last year, has set up a new political party called the People's Voice. It is the 11th political party in Singapore.