Ananda Krishnan makes time for son

GEORGE TOWN: Billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan took time off from his busy schedule to meet up with his Buddhist monk son Ven Ajahn Siripanyo, who is at a meditation retreat in Penang Hill here.

Clad in T-shirt and jeans, the 74-year-old tycoon was spotted arriving at the foot of the popular tourist attraction in a BMW with several bodyguards at about 9am yesterday.

He was whisked off to an undisclosed location deep inside the forest in Penang Hill, where his son was having a retreat with 60 others.

It is learnt that Ven Siripanyo is his only son from a previous marriage.

Local Chinese daily Kwong Wah Yit Poh highlighted the meeting of Malaysia's second richest man with his son on the front page of its street edition.

It also reported that Ven Siripanno came to the hill retreat on Sunday before staying overnight at a colonial-style building in the forest.

According to local residents, the tycoon bought the retreat three years ago before restoring it to its former glory.

There are 30-odd rooms in the building.

The daily also reported that Ven Siripanyo was seen putting his palms together and took a bow when he saw his father.

He then led his father to a garden where Ananda Krishnan took photographs of trees and butterflies as he walked along.

It is learnt that the tycoon left the hill at about noon while his son and the others left for Thailand later in the evening.

Nicknamed AK, Ananda Krishnan is estimated to be worth US$9.6bil (RM29.66bil) according to Forbes' latest list of wealthiest people, making him the second wealthiest in South-East Asia after Robert Kuok and number 89 in the world.

He has a multimedia empire which includes two telecommunication companies Maxis Communications and Measat Broadcast Network Systems (Astro) and three communication satellites orbiting the earth.

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