Singapore Model Law

Singapore International Commercial Court: A proceeding of the Jakarta Commercial Court concerning enforcement of a restructuring plan for PT Garuda Indonesia was recognised by a three-judge Bench of the SICC comprising of Kannan Ramesh, J., (Appellate Division) and Chrisopher Scott Sontchi* and Anselmo Reyes JJ., (International Judges). The Composition Plan prepared under the said proceeding was enforced under the provisions of the Singapore Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency (Singapore Model Law). The Court said that when the requirements of recognition under the Singapore Model Law are satisfied by a foreign proceeding, its recognition becomes mandatory.


PT Garuda Indonesia (“applicants”/ “debtors”), is the national airline of Indonesia, registered in Indonesia, and registered as a foreign company in Singapore. The applicants sublet an aircraft from their French subsidiary (“Garuda France”), who had leased the same from Greylag.

The applicant’s creditors filed a PKPU (Indonesian abbreviation for suspension of debt payment obligation) proceeding against the applicant before the Jakarta Commercial Court (the “Commercial Court”), which ratified a Composition Plan (“Plan”) for the debtor that attributed specified portions to different creditors.

Greylag actively participated in the PKPU proceeding and voted against the Plan. They appealed against the order of the Commercial Court but were faced with dismissal. The Commercial Court also dismissed their nullification application. Following which, they filed a nullification appeal before the Indonesian Supreme Court, that remains pending before the said court.

The debtor filed a petition in the US to have the PKPU proceeding recognised per the Bankruptcy Code in the US as a foreign main proceeding. The US Court passed an order recognising the same, following which the debtors filed before the US Court to pass an order recognising the Plan. Upon facing objections from Greylag on the same, the debtor withdrew this application.

Subsequently, the debtors petitioned before the Singapore International Commercial Court (“SICC”) to recognise the PKPU proceeding, and to enforce the Plan in Singapore.

Greylag opposed the petition before SICC claiming that petition was filed prematurely while a nullification appeal lies pending in Indonesia, and that the recognition of PKPU proceeding in Singapore would be against their public policy.


A three-judge bench of the SICC granted the petition for recognition of the PKPU proceeding as a foreign main proceeding in Singapore. Christopher S. Sontchi, J. wrote the decision of the Court.

The Court concluded that the PKPU proceeding should be recognised as a foreign main proceeding under the Singapore Model Law, since it satisfied all the requirements for recognition per Article 17 of the Singapore Model Law, thereby mandating its recognition.

The Court observed that the Singapore Model Law gives effect to the principle of modified universalism through a procedural framework which not only permits but encourages cooperation and coordination between jurisdictions in cases of cross-border insolvencies.

In the light of pending proceedings in foreign courts, SICC said that the Singapore Model Law does not require a foreign proceeding to be concluded, or that all avenues of appeal and review must be exhausted in the foreign jurisdiction before an application for recognition of the foreign proceeding is brought.

About the submission of public policy by Greylag, the Court concluded that the public policy exception in Article 6 is restrictively applicable and if challenged on the grounds of public policy, the circumstances to have success are limited.

The Court concluded and held that since the interests of all the parties and stakeholders were sufficiently protected by the Composition Plan, the PKPU proceeding should be recognised as a foreign main proceeding under the Singapore Model Law, and the Composition Plan derived therefrom, shall be enforceable in Singapore.

[In Re PT Garuda Indonesia (Persero) Tbk matter [2024] SGHC(I), decided on 18-01-2024]

Judgement delivered by Justice Chrisopher Scott Sontchi

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For the Applicants: Emmanuel Duncan Chua, Lee Yu Lun, Darrell, Irvin Ho Jia Xian and Mock Yuan Bing

For the non-parties: Muralli Raja Rajaram, Valerie Ang, Jerrie Tan, Eva Teh Jing Hui and Felicia Tee

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