A great article on Penang Malaysia.
By Emilia Ismail
What started with a Thai Native couple’s intense love for Penang, ended up with court battles that lasted three generations.
Some sixty years ago, Boonsom Boonyanit and her husband, a Thai of Chinese origin named Sie Guan Tjang @ Sie Hang Bok, fell in love with Penang, so much so that Sie bought two pieces of beachfront land in Tanjung Bungah to build their retirement home. In 1967, Sie transferred these lands to his wife through a memorandum of transfer.
In 1989, Boonsom Boonyanit’s eldest son came across an advertisement placed by a Penang law firm while browsing “Thairat,” a Thai newspaper. The ad requested anyone interested in two pieces of land — that belong to his mother — to come forward.
The family accountant found out that someone had impersonated Madam Boonsom. Here is how the imposter did it:
- Someone who called herself “Sun Yok Eng @ Boonsom Boonyanit” had affirmed a statutory declaration (a declaration you write and affirm to be true in front of a special witness such as a commissioner of oaths) on the 18th of June 1988.
- This statutory declaration stated that she was the landowner and that she had lost the original title to it. An interesting point to note is that the passport number that appeared on the declaration was “K/P Thailand No. 000386”.
- This declaration was then used to obtain a certified true copy of the land title from the authorities.
- “Mrs. Boonsom” then affirmed a second statutory declaration on the 6th of April 1989. An excerpt from the declaration reads as follows, “the names Mrs. Boonsom Boonyanit in my International Passport No. N-033852 and Sun Yok Eng @ Boonsom Boonyanit in the said ACT (land title) in respect of the said property refer to the same and one person, that is Mrs. Boonsom Boonyanit”.
- The rogue Mrs. Boonsom then used this second declaration to register the land in the name of the purchaser, Adorna Properties.
- In 1989, The two pieces of land were sold for RM1.8million without the knowledge of the real Madam Boonsom.
Boonsom lost no time in bringing the matter to court to seek justice — the return of her property. The court battle went on for almost thirty years.
Madam Boonsom passed away on the 23rd of May 2000 and the legal battles were continued by her sons and grandsons.
In 2018, the Malaysian government reached an amicable settlement with the estate of Boonsom Boonyanit. There is no information available to the public on the exact settlement sum and whether the same has been paid.
Today, the Infinity Beachfront Condominiums stand on what was Madam Boonsom’s planned retirement home. Adorna had sold the land to Diamaward (M) Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Hunza Properties Berhad, for RM13,220,000 on the 7th of October 2004.
Sources:  Asklegal.my,  Asklegal.my,  NST Online,  The Star
Emilia Ismail is the co-founder of Penang Hidden Gems and is an amateur “historian” who enjoys discovering lesser-known historical information about Penang properties. (More about Penang Hidden Gems)
* The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Penang Property Talk.
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