LONDON: Angeline Francis Khoo, the daughter of Malaysian tycoon Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng, has revealed that she gave up her share of the family fortune to marry the man her father had disapproved of.
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Mail’s You Magazine last week, Angeline, 34, said she is currently not on talking terms with her father.
Kay Peng, the 78-year-old is the chairman of Malayan United Industries, an investment holding firm with substantial stakes in lifestyle brand Laura Ashley UK and the Corus group of luxury hotels.
Forbes, which estimated his net worth at US$300mil (RM1.27bil), ranked him 44th on its list of Malaysia’s 50 richest people in 2015.
Angeline, the fourth of Kay Peng’s five children with his ex-wife and former Malaysian beauty queen Pauline Chai, met Carribean-born data scientist Jedidiah Francis while studying at Oxford University in 2008.
Kay Peng and Chai married in 1970, and had five children before splitting up in 2013. They have spent more than £6 million (RM34mil) between them on lawyers to fight their financial dispute, according to The Guardian.
Angeline told her father she wanted to marry Francis but he refused to give her his blessing.
“I believed dad’s stance was wrong, so there was no question about what was right,” she said in the interview.
“I’ve been fortunate to have that perspective: you can have money and it’s a blessing; it allows you to do things and gives you options, but there are also things that come with it, such as control.
“Money amplifies negative characteristics and that can cause problems. To walk away from that was actually very easy. I didn’t even consider it.”
The couple reportedly wed in the chapel of Pembroke College where Francis worked.
It was a modest £1,500 affair attended by 30 guests, with no one from the Khoo family attending.
Until her marriage, she appeared destined to work for the family business.
She spent her university holidays (she first moved to Britain in 2001 to study law at the University of Buckingham) working in the different departments of Laura Ashley, as the plan was that she would get involved in the retail side of the company.
Now a fashion designer, she also claimed she had no idea about the size of her father’s wealth until it was revealed in court during a long-running divorce saga between her parents, who were married for 43 years.
Her father was ordered by a British court in April this year to pay £64mil to her 68-year-old mother as settlement for their divorce, which the latter filed for on Valentine’s Day in 2013 citing his “unreasonable behaviour”.
Angeline was the only witness called in her parents’ divorce.
She expressed hope in the interview that her father could one day “let go of his anger and his hurt” so they could share a cordial relationship. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network