Tycoon ordered to pay ex-wife RM352 million after divorce

Khoo-Kay-PengPETALING JAYA: A London court has ordered Malaysian tycoon Khoo Kay Peng to pay his ex-wife £64 million (about RM352 million) as settlement for their high-profile divorce row.

This is less than the £100 million that Pauline Chai was seeking, but more than what Khoo said she should receive, The South China Morning Post (SCMP) said today.

According to SCMP, Khoo argued that Chai should receive only £9 million, despite Chai’s claim that she had contributed to his success by being a “traditional” wife.

“I looked at marriage in the traditional way,” she was quoted as saying to Justice David Bodey during hearings at the High Court in London.

“He is the breadwinner and I stayed at home and looked after the children. It was a daunting task.”

In the report, she also claimed that she and Khoo had made a sharing agreement under which she owned half of the “family’s business empire”.

However, Bodey ruled that Chai, who was Miss Malaysia in 1969, should receive a settlement of £64 million in cash and property.

In earlier reports, Chai’s lawyer Ayesha Vardag claimed that Khoo, the non-executive chairman of Laura Ashley Holdings, was worth more than £440 million (RM2.4 billion) but Khoo had maintained he had assets worth only £66 million.

Khoo, 78, married Chai, 70, in 1970. They have five grown-up children.

They have been fighting over money in the courts since 2012.

Khoo wanted the case to be heard in Malaysia but Chai managed to get it heard in London, as judges there are said to be more generous with their awards.

On Jan 27, a court in London granted a decree absolute to formally end their marriage.