Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly
UNJUST ENRICHMENT IN ASIA PACIFIC
(Brunei, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore)
Man Yip *
1. Amsiah Rahim v Borneo Samudera Sdn Bhd  4 CLJ 658 (Mal HC: CS Galid J)
Restitutionary damages for tort of trespass
P sued D for trespass to land by occupying the land for the purpose of planting oil palms. P claimed profits made by D from the trespass as “compensatory damages”.
Decision: P’s claim for D’s profits failed. Even though P used the term “compensatory damages”, P was in effect seeking restitutionary damages, that is the profits which D had made from the trespass. However, P was able to establish her financial loss and there was thus no justification to award P a gains-based remedy.
Held: The grant of gains-based remedy is to compensate a plaintiff who could not demonstrate any identifiable financial loss.
2. Ang Jian Sheng Jonathan v Lyu Yan  SGCA 12;  1 SLR 1091 (Sing CA: S Menon CJ, ABL Phang JCA and BSE Ang JAD); affg  SGHC 145 (Sing HC: Choo HT J)
Failure of consideration—shared basis
P had contractual arrangements with D1 to transfer money in renminbi (“RMB”) from her bank account in China to her personal bank accounts in Singapore which funds would be received in USD. The first transaction, which involved only D1, went through smoothly. In respect of the second transaction, which formed the subject matter of the dispute, D1 sought the assistance of D2 and D3. In this second transaction, P transferred RMB 21,075,000 from her Chinese bank account to various bank accounts instructed by D1, which included accounts in the names of D2 and D3. The plaintiff never received the funds in USD, nor did she recover the funds in RMB. P, D1 and D3 tried to resolve the matter over a WhatsApp discussion which included a fictitious party named “Allan” who gave P, who did not know that “Allan” did not exist at the material time, various assurances that he would make the relevant transfers. “Allan”, however, stopped replying several days later and P had never received the funds in USD. D1 had received RMB 105,000 as his commission. P commenced proceedings against D1, D2 and D3 to recover her monies,
* Associate Professor, Singapore Management University. I am immensely indebted to Associate Professor Rebecca Lee, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong, for her assistance with the Hong Kong materials.
Unjust enrichment in Asia Pacific
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