"A friend in need, is a friend indeed" - English proverb.
I learnt this proverb in my primary school days, we were taught to help our friends in need and those who help us are really the good friends we need to treasure.
A friend called me last week out of the blue to have lunch with me. We updated each other about our family members and finally he asked me for a favour in a very nice way, to borrow money from me.
He used to be my booth clerk and I have supported him in his career advancement in the past. He SMS me very year to wish me happy birthday as most in the service industries do. He is hardworking and did well in his career.
I sympathised with him when he started pouring out his recent problems and needed money to tight over for a year. Should I?
I have lent money to many friends in the past, from a few thousands to a few hundred thousands. More than 90% of these "friends" never return back the money to me, some disappeared from the radar, totally lost!
I have to sue a friend in High court not too long ago for the return of money loaned to him many years ago. He fought back and claimed that the money was loaned to his company instead. With all the evidence I won the case, he then declared bankrupt. He had transferred money to his wife, still driving a car, eating out at resturants, staying in a terrace house and travelling freely to Johor, Malaysia to conduct his businesses.
This guy had cheated me and a few friends in various business ventures, we lost big time. I can only curse and swear inside my heart and wonder why this guy is not being punish by GOD! or Buddha! or Allah! for his misdeeds. He is a con man and has cheated many.
I'm sick of calling those friends who owed me money, many can afford to pay me by instalments but most just give excuses.
I have many regrets in my life but I'm not going to let it ruin me, I just hope to share my experiences to understand what is "friends", "close friends" and "intimate friends" before extending that helping hand. It's a blessing to be able to help.
For the first day of the Lunar New Year, I shouldn't be writing about all these unhappy incidents.
I would like to wish all my readers a very Happy and Prosperous Tiger Year!