KUALA LUMPUR: The Court of Appeal ruled yesterday that the will left behind by a Malacca tycoon who died in 1997, leaving RM1mil of his RM200mil to RM300mil estate to his two daughters, was valid.
Court of Appeal judge Justice Gopal Sri Ram ordered that the estate of Gan Puay Chee, who died on May 1, 1997, was to be divided according to the will.
Justice Sri Ram, who heard the appeal for 12 days last year with Justices Saari Mohd Yusoff and Alaudin Mohd Sheriff, set aside the decision of the then judicial commissioner of the Malacca High Court Abdul Hamid Said on Feb 5, 2001, which ruled that the estate be equally distributed to the deceased’s beneficiaries on the grounds that the will made was forged.
He held that there was not a shred of evidence to show that Gan lacked the mental capacity to make the will.
“A close reading of the judgment of the learned judicial commissioner shows that his findings of the lack of mental capacity based on the available medical evidence was pure speculation and conjecture.
“It follows that the conclusion is plainly wrong and constitutes a serious misdirection that has occasioned a miscarriage of justice,'' he said.
He said there was also evidence Gan had signed three cheques on the day he made his will which was not considered.
“If the deceased could do this on April 16, 1997, it is plain he was certainly in a position to give instructions for a will, to understand the contents when read and explained to him and place his signature on it,'' he said.
Gan, in his will dated April 16, 1997, two weeks before his death, had left a mere RM1mil cash to be shared equally by his two daughters Yoke Chin, 61, and Yook Hwa, 58.
The remainder of between RM200mil and RM300mil was to be divided 40%, 40% and 20% between his natural sons Kim Toon and Kim Guan, and adopted son, Yan Khern, respectively.