Court rules that ex-beauty queen's divorce should be held in M'sia
Malaysia's High Court has ruled that the divorce case involving ex-beauty queen Pauline Chai and her tycoon husband should be heard in Malaysia.
Last month, Chai, who has been living in London, won a London High Court decision to have the proceedings heard there instead of Malaysia in a bid to get a better settlement from Khoo Kay Peng, who is chairman of Malayan United Industries.
However, Khoo has dealt his estranged wife a fresh blow after judge Justice Yeoh Wee Siam ruled that Chai's domicile was dependent on her husband's.
As Khoo is a Malaysian citizen and is domiciled in Malaysia, she decreed that the case should be heard in Malaysia under the country's laws.
As Chai was in England on a visitor's pass, Justice Yeoh said: "The wife is not guaranteed permanent residence of England even though she has the intention to be domiciled there.
"Having found that both parties are domiciled in Malaysia, this court therefore has jurisdiction to hear the case (originating summons) and this court is clearly the appropriate forum to hear this matter.
"Since it is indisputable that the husband’s domicile is in Malaysia, it follows that the wife, even if she is no longer a Malaysian citizen, is also domiciled in Malaysia. A person can have only one domicile at a time."
According to The Star, a delighted Khoo pumped his first in the air when the court handed out its verdict.
Chai, who was not in court but represented by New Sin Yew, is expected to appeal the decision.
The former Miss Malaysia filed for divorce in London last year asking for a £500 million ($1.02 billion) settlement.
Khoo is reportedly worth at least £400m.
Source: The Star