Love over money: When a Malaysian tycoon’s daughter gave up inheritance for love
Angeline Francis Khoo, daughter of Malaysian tycoon Khoo Kay Peng, knew that marrying without her father’s approval would mean giving up her share of family wealth.world Updated: Aug 04, 2017 13:31 IST
At first glance, it seems a story straight out of a 90s Bollywood potboiler. A billionaire father disapproves of the man his daughter wants to marry. Daughter gives up her stake in the family fortune to marry for love, souring her relationship with her father permanently.
But there are more twists and turns in the story of Angeline Francis Khoo, 34, fashion designer and daughter of Malaysian tycoon Khoo Kay Peng and former Miss Malayasia, Pauline Chai. Kay Peng the chairman of Malaysian United Industries, and has a stake in British lifestyle and design brand Laura Ashley as well as the Corus group of luxury hotels. Forbes estimates his net worth at $300 million.
In 2008, Angeline walked away from her inheritance to marry Caribbean-born data scientist Jedidiah Francis, while she was at Oxford University. Her father bitterly disapproved of the match, and Angeline knew it meant giving up her inheritance. In an interview to Daily Mail, Angeline opened up about her decision. “I believed Dad’s stance was wrong, so there was no question about what was right,” she told Mail’s interviewer. “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.”
Four years later, Angeline, who is the fourth of her parents’ five children, was dragged into the bitter, £64 million settlement divorce proceedings between her parents. Angeline sided with her mother, who she says brought up the children while her father was always working. But she told the interviewer that she hopes for an eventual reconciliation and cordial relationship with her father. “He had everything: a loyal, beautiful, smart wife, and children who love him regardless of whether he has money or not. I feel that at his age he’s vulnerable.When you don’t have that much longer ahead of you, you shouldn’t spend your days being angry and resentful,” she said.
After Angeline’s tell-all interview to the Mail was picked up by Malaysian daily, The Star Online, she received a lot of comments on Facebook about her decision to give up her wealth for love.
Some of the commentators criticised her decision, asking her if she was aware of her father’s net worth. One Facebook user questioned why she defended her mother during the divorce proceedings and if some “deal” was struck. Angeline responded to the negative comments saying, “I was disowned 9 years ago when I first got married and mum and dad started divorce proceedings 4 years later. Unfortunately, in circumstances involving family court, children are sometimes compelled to testify by the court. It was interesting that your first thought was that perhaps a ‘deal was struck’; that doesn’t seem like a very normal parent/children relationship to me, but perhaps we’ve had different life experience which have shaped our world view.”
But there was a wealth of support from other commentators as well, who commended her decision and wisher her well. “Well, Lord Buddha had mentioned ‘We only live once’.. So, if you gave up inheritance in willingness to marry someone whom you love, that is contentment~ You have my fullest support! Money can pass down generations, but not love,” wrote one Facebook user.