Chicken Rice Shop Owner’s Sons Fighting for a $16m House

The founder of the famous Swee Kee chicken rice shop had 4 sons, 3 of which are still alive, and the second youngest of them just took the other 2 to court.

The conflict was about shares of the old family home, which was sold for $16 million in 2015.

In 1957, the late Mr Moh Lee Twee, the man who opened the chicken rice shop, bought the Branksome Road family home for himself, his wife, his 4 sons and their families. After he passed away in 1977, his widow continued staying there but 3 sons moved out. Freddy, the second son, stayed.

Before the old man passed, he had transferred the house to his 4 sons in equal shares, and incorporated a company, Swee Kee & Sons. The chicken rice business was transferred to the company as well.

Image: Tripadvisor

This transference of the family home’s shares means that each son is entitled to a quarter of the amount earned from selling the house, if and when it was sold.

Which was, back in 2015, for $16 million, as mentioned before.

There shouldn’t have been any dispute here, except for the problem that the second-youngest son had transferred his share to Freddy and Royston (the youngest son) to avoid putting the family home at risk back in 1985. The second-youngest son, Tai Siang, had faced financial difficulties back then.

Allegedly, his mother had told him he would get his share back once he was older, or when the house was sold.

Tai Sing had tried to stop the house’s auction in 2015 with a caveat, but Freddy, Royston and Tai Sing’s family cancelled the caveat. Tai Sing then sued his two brothers.

According to the lawyers of the two brothers, Tai Sing had sold them his stake in the house for $200,000 back in 1985, instead of merely holding on to the stake on trust for him. Even though there were legal documents stating that $200,000 was paid, there was no evidence that Tai Sing ever received the money.

Unfortunately, apparently Tai Sing led a spendthrift lifestyle and had incurred a huge debt, whereupon he offered to give up his share in the house for financial assistance.

This highly confusing family drama smells like it could be great material for some TV show. In fact, it took me quite a while to even understand what was actually going on.

But here’s the thing that makes all of us so interested: you can really make a fortune selling chicken rice. And this, indeed, is a chicken rice war.

By the way, the trial hasn’t ended yet, so much more may come to light in the near future. 

I don’t know about you, but now, I just feel like having some chicken rice. #justsaying

Since you’re here, why not check out Goody Feed’s YouTube videos as well? They’re so Singaporean, I bet you’ll like them!

Featured Image:

This article was first published on

Read Also:

Wen Xianda

Wen Xianda

Xianda plays way too much video games. Seriously, somebody should do something. Otherwise, he's either writing or looking for the next game. He doesn't see the sun much, unless it's for good food, the only thing that gets him out of the house.
Wen Xianda