Yap Thow On was deemed to not be a natural son of Yap Swee. We know that he was adopted and it seems that the spirit of the law was that he should still have got a share of the estate but that for a missing comma, whether it is or is not deliberate, excluded him unfairly from a share of the inheritance.
In the case of wife 4, Ng Yoon Thai, Justice Murray Aynsley a bit surprisingly found that she was not divorced. I will write more on my thoughts as to why he did this in another blog post. This is certainly not the last hurrah in this case.
1939 December 18 Judgement In Suit Against Widows
Malaya Tribune, Page 2
Judgement In Suit Against Widows
(From, Our Own Reporter)
JUDGEMENT was delivered yesterday in Perak Supreme Court by the Hon. Mr. Murray Aynsley in two civil suits in which the seven widows of Yap Swee, deceased miner of Menglembu, are involved.
The first suit brought by Yap Thow Onn against the seven widows, claiming an order that he was a natural son of the deceased and entitled to a share in the property, was dismissed, his lordship entering judgment for the defendants other than the forth defendant, Ng Yoon Thai, (f) who had not entered a defence.
The second suit in which Ng Yoon Thai, (f) the fourth widow claimed a declaration that she was a lawful widow of the deceased and entitled to a share in the property, brought against the six other widows and L, J. Pearce as administrator of the estate, was allowed, his lordship at the conclusion of a lengthy judgment remarking that the plaintiff succeeded in the principle issue and that the other considerations would be decided at a later date.
The costs of both sides, solicitors and clients, would be out of the estate.
Counsel engaged in the suits were Dr. H. Y. Teh and Mr. Ong for the plaintiffs in both the suits and Mr. H. R. Rix for the defendants in the first suit and Messrs. H. D. Mundell and H. R. Rix for the defendants in the second suit.
1939 December 19 SEVEN WIDOWS TO SHARE ESTATE
The Straits Times, Page 10
SEVEN WIDOWS TO SHARE ESTATE
Judge Allows Perak Woman’s Suit
(From our Own Correspondent)
Ipoh, Dec. 18.
WRITTEN judgements were delivered by Mr. Justice Murray-Aynsley in the Perak Supreme Court in two civil suits involving the estate of the late Towkay Yap Swee. A tin miner.
Ng Yoon Thai, fourth widow, made a declaration that she was the lawful widow of the deceased and therefore entitled to a share of the property.
The defendants were the six other widows of Towkay Yap Swee and L. J. Peace, as estate administrator.
His Lordship, allowing the claim, remarked that the plaintiff succeeded on the principle issue while the other considerations would be decided at a later date.
The costs of both sides were ordered to be paid out of the estate.
Messrs. H. Y. Teh and H. S. Ong appeared for the plaintiff and Messrs. H. D. Mundell and H. R. Rix for the defendants.
The other suit, brought by Yap Thow Onn against the seven widows, claiming that as he was a son of the deceased, he was entitled to a share of the property, was dismissed.