Yang Yin saga

House at heart of dispute likely to be torn down

Madam Chung Khin Chun's bungalow in Gerald Crescent sits on a plot of land that is about the size of half a football field. The bulk of the proceeds from the upcoming land sale would go to charity, said Madam Chung's niece.
Madam Chung Khin Chun's bungalow in Gerald Crescent sits on a plot of land that is about the size of half a football field. The bulk of the proceeds from the upcoming land sale would go to charity, said Madam Chung's niece.ST FILE PHOTO

The land, to be put on sale, is among widow's assets over which she and ex-tour guide tussled

The house at the centre of a bitter, high-profile dispute between a former China tour guide and a rich Singaporean widow is likely to be torn down. The land on which it sits will be put on sale next month.

About the size of half a football field, the land can be redeveloped into as many as 11 landed homes - two bungalows, two semi-detached and seven terraced houses, according to a potential redevelopment plan seen by The Straits Times.

The 2,962 sq m property in Gerald Crescent belongs to Madam Chung Khin Chun, 90, a retired physiotherapist. It has a 999-year lease that started in 1879.   

The upcoming sale was confirmed by her niece, Madam Hedy Mok, who has appointed Savills Singapore to handle the sale.

"It will be put up for sale by tender after Chinese New Year," the 64-year-old tour agency owner told The Straits Times yesterday.

Madam Chung was embroiled in a bitter dispute with former China tour guide Yang Yin, 43, over her assets, including the land.

After acting as Madam Chung's tour guide when she visited China in 2008, Yang moved into her bungalow a year later, brought his family here and got the widow to make a will where he stood to inherit everything. The will has since been thrown out by the courts.

Madam Chung, whose husband died in 2007, is childless and was diagnosed with dementia in 2014. Madam Mok has been appointed her aunt's deputy, or guardian.

Yang pleaded guilty in August 2016 to misappropriating $1.1 million from Madam Chung and 120 charges, including falsifying receipts for a sham company to stay here and obtain permanent residency. He was sentenced to a total of 11 years and two months in jail.

 
 

Savills Singapore's senior director of investment Suzie Mok said the land is "one of the largest redevelopment plots in the exclusive Seletar area".

International Property Advisor chief executive Ku Swee Yong said that as many as 20 cluster terraced houses can be built on the land, which he estimated to be worth "between $38 million and $42 million".

Madam Mok said the bulk of the proceeds would go to charity.

Under Madam Chung's new will, her sister Doris and family friend Chang Phie Chin will receive $500,000 each, and the rest of her estate will go to charity.

Madam Mok also said that $1.1 million seized from Yang's account has been returned to the widow.

"That money and the house are all that my aunt has now," she said.

Madam Chung has been living with Madam Mok since 2014.

"With all that has happened, she does not see the (Gerald Crescent) house as her home any more," Madam Mok added.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2018, with the headline 'House at heart of dispute likely to be torn down '. Print Edition | Subscribe