Son of former Singapore chief justice leaves Malaysians, Thais fuming

PUTRAJAYA, 13 June 2017:

The abrupt closure of the True Fitness chain in Malaysia and Thailand by its Singaporean owners has left thousands of gym members fuming – especially because no refunds are forthcoming.

Flashy group chief executive officer Patrick Wee – youngest son of the late Singapore chief justice Wee Chong Jin – was quoted by The Straits Times as saying just last week the chain had plans to expand into China with 20 new clubs over the next three years.

Barely a week later – over the weekend on June 9 and 10 – the group announced closure of all its outlets in Thailand, then Malaysia.

And jittery Singaporeans now wonder if the 47,000-odd members down south at its 10 outlets too will be left high and dry by the group Wee founded with National University of Singapore law classmate Andrew Ong.

Both are of NUS law school alumni of 1989 – which became infamous when a fellow classmate David Rasif absconded with S$11.3 million of his clients’ money in 2006 – then considered a record for such theft by a lawyer in Singapore.

The Singapore newspaper also reported the True Fitness group in Malaysia was unable to refund its Malaysian customers in cash – but arrangements had been made with Chi Fitness for customers to continue their prepaid packages there. It said it was looking to make a similar arrangement for its spa customers with a “reputable” provider.

On its Malaysian website, the group wrote: “Kindly be informed that membership and personal training redemptions can only be redeemed at Chi Fitness from 3 July 2017 onwards. We will communicate to all members by 20 June 2017 on the procedures.”

Meanwhile, Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin has urged disgruntled members of True Fitness Malaysia to submit complaints and claims with the Consumer Claims Tribunal.

“The tribunal can handle claims up to RM25,000 for each person,” he said when asked if there were complaints by its members to the ministry following the closure of the club.

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