By Bernama | The Star

Khoo (suited, with blue tie) surrounded by his bodyguards at the Jalan Duta courts.

Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng has claimed that his marriage with former beauty queen Pauline Chai Siew Phin has irretrievably broken down and there is no chance for a reconciliation.

“The marriage has irretrievably broken down and it would therefore serve no purpose whatsoever for me to refer our matrimonial difficulties to a reconciliatory body before filing a petition for divorce,” said Khoo.

Khoo, 74, also said he tried to reconcile many times through religious groups and friends but was unsuccessful.

“Although I don’t want it to be over, it’s over. At night, she can take a knife and stab me,” he said in cross-examination by lawyer Edmund Bon, who was representing Chai, 68.

Bon had asked Khoo if he would try to save his 43-year marriage if the Court ordered a reconciliation process.

In an affidavit in support, tendered in Court, Khoo stated that he intended to petition the Court for a dissolution of the marriage entered into between him and Chai on the grounds that their marriage had irretrievably broken.

“However, I am advised by my solicitors and verily believe that pursuant to section 106(1) of the Act, I cannot petition for a divorce under section 53 of the Act unless I have first referred the matrimonial difficulty to a reconciliatory body, except if there are exempting circumstances as set out in section 106(1) therein,” he said, referring to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976.

In proceedings Monday, Khoo said it would be impractical and unlikely for Chai to return to Malaysia to attend reconciliation proceedings because she had been staying in England since 2012.

Khoo was testifying before judge Yeoh Wee Siam on his application for dispensation of the need to go before a reconciliatory body before divorce.

He told the Court that Chai had, on Feb 14 last year, filed for divorce proceedings at the Principal Registry of the Family Division of the High Court of Justice in England and Wales to dissolve their marriage.

He also said his wife had not told the truth about a lot of things regarding their marriage and the divorce action was initiated by her.

He said that England and Wales had no jurisdiction to hear their divorce proceeding and only the Malaysian High Court had the power to hear the issue.

“However, given the defendant’s (Chai) action in filing for divorce and applying for ex-parte (without his presence) interim injunctive relief, I state that it is clear that the marriage has irretrievably broken down,” said Khoo, who was represented by lawyer Datuk Cyrus Das.

In February last year, Chai, the Miss Malaysia/International 1969, filed the divorce petition in a London Court, seeking a £500mil (RM2.65bil) settlement.

Khoo, who is the chairman of international investment holdings company Malayan United Industries Bhd, currently resides in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, and had filed the divorce petition in a Malaysian Court.

The couple married in 1970 and have five grown-up children.

The hearing continues Tuesday.