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Agents Awarded Double
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Court awrded broker double the amount of damages sought. (ST)
 
A broker who sued a businessman for $316,817 commsiion and a developer for unspecified damages had a winfall on Wednesday when he was awarded double the amount he asked for plus costs and interest.
 
But Mr Tan Yew Seng's claim against a third defendant, Mr Pek Tiong Seng, managing director of Peiguan Development Pte Ltd, was dismissed with costs.
 
Mr Tan had sued Mr Pek for damages for failing to ensure that Peiguan pay him 30 cents per square foot of more than 24 acres of land in Lengkok Ampat, Changi.
 
Businessman Koh Chee Chong and Peiguan were each ordered to pay Mr Tan, also a businessman, $316,817, costs and 6 per cent interest from May 29, 1973 to Feb 22, 1979, the date of the writ.
 
Mr Tan had sued Mr Koh for fraudulent use of the money due to him, and Peiguan for damages over a $2.6 million property deal.
 
His case was that he was promised 2 per cent commission if he could get a buyer for the property, bought by Hoe Huat Realty Pte Ltd in September 1972.
 
Mr Koh and building contractor Liu Cho Chit, managing director of Hoe Huat, had also agreed to let Mr tan keep the difference as further commission if he could get more than $2.20 psf.
 
Mr Tan was paid the 2 per cent commission by Mr Liu in June 1973 but did not get the extra $316,817. He sued all three in 1979.
 
Both Mr Pek and Mr Liu were featured in the "Teh Cheang Wan affair".
 
Mr Liu, 55, a close friend of the late National Development Minister, was fined $10,000 last year for offering $1 million to a person to screen Teh from any involvement in a corruption probe. Teh committed suicide in December 1986.
 
In the case of Mr Pek, it was alleged that his company then, Hock Tat Development, had bribed Teh.
 
The court was told that originally, Hoe Huat had agreed to sell one-third of the property each to Mr Koh and Mr Lim Ah sai.
 
Later, both Mr Koh and Mr Lim withdrew their option to buy the property in favour of Peiguan, which agreed to pay $2.50 psf for the land.
 
In May 1973, Peguan paid Mr Koh $316,817 commission for the sale of the property, but the amount was not paid to Mr Tan, who acted as Hoe Huat's broker.
 
On Wednesday, Mr Justice F.A Chua found Mr Koh was not truthful and had tailored his evidence to fit certain known facts.
 
The judge, having considered all the evidence and submissions, accepted mr Tan's story and found him to be a truthful witness.
 
The court also found that there was an agreement under which Peiguan had agreed to pay Mr Tan the 30 cents psf commission.

Lessons Learnt
 
1) ?

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