Niece of UOB founder sues step—daughter

SINGAPORE: In the High Court on Monday, a case has come up where a Malaysian businesswoman, Madam Anne Wee, is suing her step—daughter for a portion of a S$28.8 million trust, claiming that it is part of matrimonial assets.

Madam Wee, who is in her 50s, is the niece of United Overseas Bank founder Wee Cho Yaw and the daughter of Sarawak tycoon Anuar Wee Hood Teck.

She is claiming that her Singaporean ex—husband Ng Hock Seng, had fraudulently misrepresented to her that he did not have money to support their family during their 10—year marriage, when he had earned US$20 million in 1998 from a wafer fabrication contract for services in Sarawak, Malaysia.

Madam Wee, the sole breadwinner of the family shortly after they moved from Singapore to Kuching, maintained she was key in introducing the managing director of the wafer fabrication plant to her ex—husband.

She said she did not make a claim for maintenance during her divorce from Mr Ng because he had told her he was broke and she believed him.

Mr Ng, who died in 2004 from tongue cancer, bought an apartment in Ocean Park in Singapore and another in Four Seasons in Jakarta in 1999. However, he claimed in an affidavit in January 2000 that he was of limited means and had difficulty giving the maintenance of RM3,750 to his children and could only give RM1,200.

He also claimed he was financially supported by his family and friends.

Madam Wee was cross—examined on Monday by her step—daughter’s lawyer, Ms Deborah Barker, who put to Madam Wee that she was not the one who introduced the key contact of the wafer fabrication company to her ex—husband.

Mr Ng had willed the money in the trusts to his daughter from his first marriage, Ms Genevieve Ng Li—Ann, and his son and daughter with Madam Wee. Ms Ng is the sole executrix of Mr Ng’s estate.

The trust is managed by BNP Paribas Trust Corporation, which is incorporated in Jersey, Channel Islands.

Madam Wee is claiming costs against the trust which she alleged had "unreasonably" incurred unnecessary costs "by failing to take a neutral stand" in her claim against the late Mr Ng’s estate.

Madam Wee is represented by Ms Indranee Rajah from Drew and Napier.

Ms Ng and BNP Paribas Trust Corporation disagree that Mr Ng’s estate is part of matrimonial assets. Lawyers for the trust also argue that her claim for costs is baseless.