Sunday, February 14, 2010


"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!


True!!! As it is. said...

"These four, young householder, should be understood as foes in the guise of friends:
(1) he who appropriates a friend's possessions,
2) he who renders lip-service,
(3) he who flatters,
(4) he who brings ruin.

"These four, young householder, should be understood as warm-hearted friends:
(1) he who is a helpmate,
(2) he who is the same in happiness and sorrow,
(3) he who gives good counsel,
(4) he who sympathises.

Fat88Trader said...

Thank you for sharing, I will educate my children and keep it for good reference.

NoRMaN TsAi said...

Dear FAT,

I also have my own share of similar 'friendly loan problem', but not as serious.

Reading your post reminds me of a book i read long ago and is re-reading now - THE RICHEST MAN IN BABYLON by George S. Clason.

Under the chapter 'The Gold Lender of Babylon', it fully described our 'friendly loan problem' and how one should 'solve' it.

Just to share some wisdom from this chapter:

"Gold bringeth unto its possessor responsibility and a changed position with his fellow men. It bringeth fear lest he lose it or it be tricked away from him. It bringeth a feeling of power and ability to do good. Likewise, it bringeth opportunities whereby his very good intentions may bring him into difficulties."

"If you desire to help thy friend, do so in a way that will not bring thy friend's burdens upon thyself."

"What thy labor earns for thee and what is given thee for reward is thine own and no man can put an obligation upon thee to part with it unless it do be thy wish. If thee wouldst lend it so that it may earn thee more gold, then lend with caution and in many places. I like not idle gold, even less I like too much of risk."

I appreciate the wisdom much and is practising it. Although lately I have not encountered any more 'friendly loan problem' (fortunately), I will follow the wisdom.

Do consider getting the book. It's widely available. It cost only about $15 but the wisdom contained is priceless. However, wisdom is gained by doing, not reading.

I hope my share can lighten your day. Cheers! :)