S'PORE MUM TAKES DAUGHTER TO COURT OVER SALE OF HOUSE. Wins case, but loses daughter. Dies of hypertension 3 days after getting court papers. Mum says...
Inside, a sprightly 80-year old mum (left) recalled with sadness, "I didn't want to fight, but I had no choice... I just wanted my money back. It's a matter of principle..." She was finally awarded an undisclosed amount but she had already lost her daughter and she regretted that she would never have the chance to reconcile with her. Although a house cannot be considered small stuff and the death of the daughter was probably not caused by the law suit but still, it is a sad and depressing story. And they say that blood is thicker than water. It is probably not thick enough in this case.
This incident reminds of an experience I had with someone called CL (no relation to other CLs). The property involved was this one:
Photo by Desmond Wee published in the Straits Times 3 Jan 2007
Another front view of the bungalow
It was a grand neo-Renaissance style bungalow located in the east coast at No. 23, Amber Road. It was designed by Regent Alfred John Bidwell in 1912, the very same architect who designed the 'Grand Old Dame', the world-famous Raffles Hotel:
A new developer, AG Capital, bought the bungalow last year. The company said that "no corporate decision has been adopted" on future plans for the site. Early this year, there was a call to preserve this building by a group of about 20 people who called themselves Historic Architecture Rescue Plan.
Before land reclamation began, the bungalow stood at the seafront. It had an unusual crescent shape to let in as much seabreeze as possible.
Back view of the bungalow - note the crescent shape of the house
In the late 70s, I had meals in that bungalow. I also spent some time listening to music on the upper floor. In those days, CDs had not been invented yet. (MP3 music came much later in the late 90s.) Music was then recorded either on cassette tapes or black vinyl records:
The former were played on tape decks with famous names like Nakamichi, Akai and Teac while the latter were played on turntables spinning at either 33 rpm (revolutions per minute) or 45 rpm. Sought after names in turntables then were Thorens, Audio-Technica and Denon. I was listening to the music of Abba, America, Cliff Richard, Eagles, 'Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young', George Benson and Chuck Mangione.
Do not be mistaken, I wasn't involved in a court battle with my family over the sale of the bungalow. We never owned it. It was my very good NS-mate CL who stayed in it before. I never asked if his family owned it but I think that they probably rented it.
CL and I were extremely close friends. (With all due respect to Chris Sim, I could safely say that I was closer to CL then than I am with Chris now.) His family knew me very well and conversely, mine knew him just as well. We spent most weekends together. Once, his family brought me out on a power boat trip up the Kim Kim River in Johore. We didn't bring along our passports because we didn't intend to land in Johore. Of course, it was still considered as trespassing but the Malaysian Customs was probably more lax then. Our state of relations with our neighbour then was also likely to be better than it is now. CL, his father and his younger brother could all ski very well. They took turns to ski behind the power boat and could execute slalom very gracefully, much to my admiration.
Quite often, we would watch a movie together in town. I remember catching shows like Car Wash, Grease, Every Which Way But Lose, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and some Chinese Kung Fu shows like 18 Bronze Men with him. We even stayed in a chalet together before. Sometimes we went for a swim in the sea at night.
At that time, I was staying in Haig Road - a short distance from Amber Road. With a new chopper bike that I bought, it took me only 10 minutes to cycle to his house:
He would then ride his own bicycle:
We invariably headed towards East Coast Park which was just behind his house:
More often than not, we ended up at Bedok Jetty:
As CL was considered overweight then, there were a few occasions when he jogged while I cycled. We went all the way from Big Splash to Bedok Jetty and back, a distance of at least 10 km. It was no problem for me to cover that distance on my chopper but CL would be perspiring profusely by the time he finished back at Big Splash. He would say that he must have lost at least 2 kg from the jog. "Probably all water", I would tease him as I always do. We often joked with each other and CL was a good joker. I thoroughly enjoyed the times I spent with him.
When I moved to Jalan Bukit Merah in the early 80s, our friendship continued but we seldom cycled together because of the distance between our residences. Not long after that, our friendship ended abruptly because of one minor incident. I was devastated. I was hurt not so much by the ending of our 5-year old friendship but by the manner it ended.
(To be continued.)