In what appears like a repeat of China national Yang Yin’s case, 3 foreigners are accused of unlawfully taking S$5 million of a rich elderly who suffered from dementia. The rich elderly was a retired paediatric doctor with SGH and Associate Professor with NUS, Dr Freda Paul. The accused are her Sri Lankan maid, Arulampalam Kanthimathy, and two Indian nationals, Kulandaivelu Malayaperumal (Perumal) and Gopal Subramanian, who used to be construction workers.

The three claimed that Dr Freda gave them S$5 million between January and July in 2010 but the retired doctor was earlier diagnosed of dementia and incapable of making financial decisions on December 2009 by a psychiatrist. Relatives of Dr Freda filed a lawsuit to recover the S$5 million on this basis.

Photo of Dr Freda Paul from thestraitstimes
Photo of Dr Freda Paul from thestraitstimes

Lawyer Philip Jeyaretnam, son of former opposition MP JBJ, and another distant relative filed the lawsuit against the three foreigners. The Sri Lankan maid has since gone back home while the other two Indian nationals has become Singapore Permanent Residents.

According to the two Indian nationals, Dr Freda Paul was abandoned by her relatives and that they helped to buy her food and even lent her money of S$500 and S$1,000 from time to time. When Dr Freda’s sister Grace died, no relative turned up. In September 2009, Dr Freda entrusted Gopal Subramanian power of attorney to sell the house and the latter paid himself S$913,313 (6%) of the sales proceeds.

Gopal then gave the maid and Perumal S$1 million each. The property agent of the sale, Parvathi Somu, was given S$500,000.

In April 2015, the Singapore court revoked a will made by the then-dementia Dr Paul to leave the bulk of her estate to Perumal and the maid, S$1.7 million to Parvathi Somu and three organisations and persons from India and Sri Lanka. The Singapore court reinstated her previous will made in 2007 to leave all the money for NUS Faculty of Medicine and set up a bursary fund for female medical students.

Dr Paul is now in a nursing home, and the next court hearing will be end October.