US$1,740.00raised of $100,000.00 goal goal
My name is Fah Heng and I reside in Brunei Darussalam. This is a very difficult post for me to write as I have to relive all the emotional distress that I have endured since the year 2015, so I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this post.
It all started out as a dream of mine to have my wife and I live in a nice home before settling down with children. So in 2015, my wife and I went to multiple house viewings to search for that perfect place that we could call home. Finally, we settled for a detached house with a compound that was still under construction so our future children could freely run around.
We were extremely excited and signed a sale and purchase agreement with a Singaporean developer in June, 2015. We sincerely put our faith in him and this faith was further sealed when he informed us that he is a Singaporean. We as Bruneians, trust Singaporeans because they are known to be upstanding and law-abiding citizens wherever they are in the international arena.
Dream turned nightmare
However, during the course of the construction there were a magnitude of problems. We had several meetings with the developer but in the end the developer didn’t deliver the house as promised according to the Sale & Purchase Agreement.
As per the agreement, the house was supposed to be finished with practical completion at the end of June 2016. On that day itself, we were horrified to discover that not only was the house incomplete but it also had so many safety violations and structural defects (the list is non-exhaustive but the pictures attached will show the abandonment of the project such that monkeys are now occupying the house and the surrounding area, the elevation of the cracked floor on the 1st floor, poor workmanship of the interior walls and exterior walls, water damage caused by water seeping up from the ground into the living room, broken windows etc) which posed as hazards for potential occupants, meaning us.
Subsequently, we engaged a lawyer to setup a meeting with him, in which he kept blaming the contractor and then promised that if we gave him a few more months, he would finish the house. We were a bit hesitant, but relented in the end.
We were further disheartened when a month passed (it was now August 2016) and there was still no meaningful progress made by the Singaporean developer, no safe house in sight, no hints whatsoever of our dream becoming a reality. More meetings were arranged but they were all futile, yielding nothing but heartache. Finally in March 2017, it was with a heavy heart that I decided to initiate legal proceedings against him. I thought that if I couldn’t get the house, I could instead reacquire my hard-earned money. The situation became such that our dream had drifted away, and was instead turning into a horrendous nightmare.
The Trial & Judgment
Between 2017 and 2020, we had to go through the grueling court process of documentation and hearings which not only placed a lot of emotional anguish on us, but it also impacted us financially. During this period, on numerous occasions we offered to settle this matter amicably out of court with the Singaporean developer, but he chose to ignore these attempts. Instead, he gave the impression that if he ignored the letter of demand, we would just forget about the case entirely. We could not do that, as my hard-earned life-savings had been paid to him on the understanding and promise that he would complete my dream-house. We had no choice but to proceed with the trial.
In November 2020 just before Covid-19 hit our nation, our trial started. Although my lawyer and I knew it was a simple breach of contract, I was still extremely nervous entering the court as the plaintiff. There were many occasions where I wanted to shout at the Singaporean developer/defendant for the emotional pain and suffering that was inflicted upon my wife and I. Fortunately, I managed to control my anger and answered all the questions calmly, to the best of my ability and knowledge. On several occasions throughout the trial, I have to admit that I was on the verge of breaking down as I had to recount and relive the events that led up to the trial, but I chose to remain strong and held back.
Finally in April 2021, the court rendered a verdict in favour of my claim. It was proven on the probability of facts, that the Singaporean developer had failed to adhere to the Sale & Purchase Agreement and therefore, the house was deemed incomplete. The judge ordered that the agreement be rescinded and that all monies relating to the house be refunded to us in the amount of BND $602,216.44 excluding interests and costs. Full judgment can be accessed online at the link below ()
You may have to click on the link multiple times to get in. This is because the Brunei judiciary website is sometimes under maintenance and may not be stable.
Bankruptcy notice served and evasion
However, the Singaporean developer blatantly ignored the order and refused to pay us a single cent. Thus, a bankruptcy notice was served upon him in January 2022 to which the special process server working on behalf of the law firm, was informed that the Singaporean Developer had returned to Singapore to settle his daughter’s studies for 8-9 months. We were left with no choice but to use the remainder of our savings, to proceed with a bankruptcy suit against him which was filed on and served to him via substituted service at the end of January 2022. It seemed that he ignored that too as he didn’t even appear for the creditor’s first meeting on 9th November 2022(more than 8-9 months later than the dates he stipulated to settle his daughter’s studies) which was posted in our local newspaper the Borneo Bulletin on 24th August 2022 (the picture is attached to this post).
The last hearing was held recently on 20th February 2023 where he also failed to appear which led to the court issuing a warrant for his arrest.
Ripple-Effects of this ordeal & Current Situation
I have had to endure several hardships over these past few years. I would wake up screaming due to nightmares about the house and the court case. I have lost yearly bonuses at work due to poor work performance. My marriage is on the rocks as my wife and I would bicker constantly about the house progression and court case.
In December 2018, I lost my job as the company retrenched me.
I managed to land a job at a company in April 2019 and my feet was on the ground for a while.
I am currently unemployed as of November 2021 as my contract with the latter company ended.
At present, I am still paying BND $ 2,000 per month to service my loan and my family is living on borrowed money from relatives and in-laws. I am actively searching for a job but the COVID-19 situation has made it extremely difficult. All these events have caused my wife and I emotional distress and anguish. I have been having suicidal thoughts as well and I have told my family and close friends about it to which they have encouraged me to not give up.
To date I have already spent approximately 80k USD on legal fees leading up to the judgment and an extra 1.5k USD on deposit for my bankruptcy lawyer. Moreover, I have been advised by my bankruptcy lawyer to register my judgment in the High Court of Singapore. I have exhausted all official local avenues for justice but their hands are tied on this matter as being a judgment debtor is not a crime and thus, they cannot apply for an Interpol red-notice to extradite him to Brunei.
I do not have any money left in my account for even daily livelihood items. Therefore, I have turned to you the good people of the internet for help… I kindly and beg for help in the way of 100k USD which will be broken down as seen below:
50k USD – Legal fees for lawyers
50k USD – Livelihood fund for Food, dwelling rental, house loan, sundries, car maintenance for a year and to return monies owed to family members.
I will also provide updates if any, during the course of my journey on this court case and even on my journey of securing a job. I would also be able to answer any queries on purchasing a house and the pitfalls to look out for. Nobody should endure the pain and struggles I went through.
With you sharing this post with others, it will be a huge milestone in alerting potential house-buyers while also deterring individuals who might have the same intention as the Singaporean developer turned Judgment Debtor from doing this again, and tarnishing the good name of present and future businessmen from Singapore who would like to conduct their business in Brunei.
Update : We cant proceed with the singaporean registration due to not enough funds
Happy new year and a new donor too!Update posted by Fah Heng Yap at 09:17 am
Happy new year to everyone and we also got a new donor. I hope that individual is blessed with good health and more wealth in this new year.Again thank you for those who viewed and do please consider donating as even a dollar would help me a lot :)
Merry Christmas allUpdate posted by Fah Heng Yap at 04:07 am
hi all, it is a good Christmas for once as with the recent donation. I managed to get spark plugs and brake fluid changed for my car. At least now I can get to any potential job interviews with no transportation issues.
5th donor and 500 views!Update posted by Fah Heng Yap at 07:02 am
Thank you so much to the 5th donor. Your donation means a lot and will sustain me and my family for our living expenses needs. Bless you.Also thank you everyone for 500 views. Please continue to spread the word and I appreciate every dollar that is donated. Even a dollar
Almost 500 views!Update posted by Fah Heng Yap at 04:18 pm
Thank you to the viewers who have been reading my page.If it is possible, please do donate. Even 1 dollar will would help me a lot.
added few more photosUpdate posted by Fah Heng Yap at 05:49 pm
Hi all,Please take a look at the new pictures i uploaded...it shows condition of the house which was submitted as evidence during the trial. If there is any questions, please do comment here and also follow. Many thanks and donate if possible.
More bad news on job huntUpdate posted by Fah Heng Yap at 12:59 pm
Got a few interviews this past months. I got a number of no replies and 2 rejections... Please someone ...anyone ...i beg for your kindness
Car broke downUpdate posted by Fah Heng Yap at 12:57 pm
Hi all,Car broke down ....and its a battery issue. I dont have any money to fix it.All the monies donated so far has been to buy groceries and pay for monthly bills like electricity.Please...someone...anyone who is kind enough ...to donate...
More bad newsUpdate posted by Fah Heng Yap at 11:03 am
I managed to borrow some money from relatives to engage a SG lawyer to register my judgement in SG but i was recently advised there is issues with this ...and now lawyers are still researching...nothing is going good.No job leads either ..more ghosting...
400 views!Update posted by Fah Heng Yap at 11:02 am
Thank you all for 400 views!
More bad newsUpdate posted by Fah Heng Yap at 03:55 pm
I am so sad and devastated No job leads and getting ghosted after interviews if any..I wish some one would help me spread the word of me and my wife's ever worsening situation.......Please...we need help...
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