Monday, March 14, 2005

My sadistic muse

Maybe my muse has a sadistic sense of humor, because it chose this very moment to tickle my inner self and be expressive about it. Why must it be depressing situations that draw the inspiration to pour out my heart and soul and to inscribe in words the hurt and insecurity that I feel within?

I should feel worse, yes when it rains it pours, and today after talking to my dad it seems the previous situation with my uncle not only abated but has literally fell to rock bottom. For all his composure and fa├žade, he hid deep within himself the lies and perversion so well that he has become indifferent about his own humanity. I beg to question, I want to shout out loud to ask how one man can still claim to have a shred of humanity and soul left within him when he can just casually spend money from his relatives, no not only that even, money of loyal employees who scraped all they had and has been working with him for well over a decade without even a single compulsion. In the end we found out his company is literally a shell, all substance and body sucked out long ago by wanton greed and indifference. 30 million, I still can’t picture anyone spending this total dry when many of us out here won’t even see 1/30 of it in our lifetime.

Maybe he has lost his soul somewhere along the way, a way paved by money. It has to a point where a man no longer cares what happens to him when he can casually says, “Go ahead, try to sue me for all I’ve got because I’d rather commit suicide than go to jail if forced to”. Now he has run to his mistress (his third), forsaking the wife and kids whom are his own flesh and blood. Sold are the Mercedes and soon will the posh house follows as banks come a asking for collateral. Greed can be a devastating force, maybe we were all a party to it, often we hear an offer too good to be true and turn off our senses because we choose rather to ignore the pitfall of it rather than be left out on what might be a lucrative deal. Sometimes illusions of grandeur are what they seem, nothing of substance and only a dream. Yes we smarted in the end, some more so than others, some to the point where all seems bleak and hopeless. How can a man fall so low as to have his wife in a lurch, fending off angry debtors who are asking for blood money, whose kid has to take a job selling tickets at TGV to make ends meet, and whose kid has just entered college and needs the money? No human being that is.

We’ve been hit hard, yes. My family is feeling the pinch already. I despaired at the outcome but my dad told me, as Christians he said, “Take it as it comes, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh, worry not and carry on with the knowledge that we will strive on with what we have”. Maybe he is right, we still have each other, we still have the means albeit lessen to survive and live on and we have a future to look forward to. In terms of the cash (a total of RM350,000 including my grandmother’s share), we had it repaid in full in interest over the last decade and some more even, only that our initial investment is gone among the sea of debt and insolvency may be a problem. At this juncture I have had a hard battle with myself, deciding whether to continue with my studies or quit. Though my dad says there is enough to see me through, I am guilty in the fact that I should be out there earning and helping out in times like these. He once said that he and my mum would not need our help later in life to see them through and there was enough to love well so we could concentrate on building our own without worries. Now my siblings and I would have to depend on our own not only to fend for ourselves but also to ensure that the sacrifices that our parents made for us will not go unpaid. This I gladly will. My father has always reminded me about how our family made it through the hard times.

My grandfather was a drunkard with hardly the capacity to look after his 5 children and my grandmother. His passion were the bottle and with songbirds as well as calligraphy. The five of them had to learn from an early age to fend for themselves, knowing that they can’t rely on anybody for themselves in life. My uncle secured a Colombo scholarship and went to study in England, upon arriving back he fought for a chance to go for a PhD in Chemistry at Australia and with hard work he became the head of SIRIM and now runs with his wife his own company. Another uncle went as a lowly apprentice to a relation running a pawnshop and now is co-partner in the venture and making good. An aunt went into the goldsmith business as well but was not doing so well yet still manage to raise her two daughters who are independent now and a kid currently enrolled in college. The other would be the aunt that married the goldsmith uncle abovementioned, we though she was the best off among the siblings, until now that is. She had a hard time before, through a PI she found out her husband was seeing a mistress, incidentally arranged by their side of the family and now this blows out. Lastly is the youngest aunt, she had it hard at times, her husband is never there and never sends money for the family, she has been relying on her siblings to help make ends meet and to this point does not own a property of her own. Still she has a lot of consolation, she is still young and able to hold a job if need be, her son has completed his degree and pursuing masters, her daughter too is almost done with college and her younger son is just facing SPM next year, even at the darkest there is hope. They all stood on their own feet and manage to live life to their best ability, none is destitute or needing charity. If my grandmother was alive to see this, her heart would break.

Still the sacrifice are hard as my dad told me, we have just sold the old Wira for RM15,000 not much as that and a decision has been made to sell my grandmother’s house which belongs to us in Kl. It’s a bit sad to me as I’ve always thought of it as a bit of permanency in my roots in Kl and soon even this little bit will be gone, the fields where we as kids used to run and find mischief, the long shared family dinners and celebrations, the mosquito infested room that often causes me to stay awake at times and the place that my grandmother spent her last days in as well as the venue of her funeral. Inside me it just screamed unfair. Still we are hoping that the sale of the single storey terrace house of which is a corner lot near the Tabung Haji in SS5 PJ would net us at least RM250,000 to cover us for the coming years. So many plans we had for the future suddenly turned upside down, so many dreams shattered in an instant of callousness.

Will I ever forgive my uncle? Maybe never, never for the years of sweat and toil we have endured to save up and he squandered in an instant, not for the agony and sacrifices he made us have to choose but most so for the fact that he lied ever so effortlessly and skirted responsibility when he should have. Being killed by a hired hand of one of his debtors is too good a punishment for him and too easy an escape. For a Christian, having to wish well of your enemy and to forgive him for what he has done will not come easy. The wound is raw and may never truly heal. The best I can say is that God save his soul if there is anything left of it.

I should still consider myself fortunate, I have had the chance to complete my university studies, i have my health, I've the chance to travel about and see a little of the world outside and I am in a position to start a working life to support myself. I have had the pleasure to find good friends about me and to find an even more special soul mate in Laura. Whatever hardship that comes, I'll make a resolve to work my best to overcome them and in future never to trust anyone else beside my ownself. I guess having to give up books and DVDs is not to hard a sacrifice compared to what most others out there are facing.


5xmom said...

Wow, sticky situation. But glad to hear about your dad's open heart. The Lord taketh, the Lord giveth. True indeed. BTW, a St. Thomas, Kuantan parish priest came to our cathedral today with a big bunch of orang asli. To raise funds for their church building. So, I remembered you are from Kuantan.

Kervin said...

:) haha yeah our church father is very active with orang asli and helped raised various funds and charities for them. Also the church building fund is targetting another RM 1 million for the building of a parish center.

iblogme said...

Kervin, I've been in a similar situation, though the harm done was on a lesser scale than yours. I hope that this storm would be over for you and your family soon.

Take care.

deborah said...

I guess it takes a major wake-up call in each and everyone of us, to realize our past mistakes. By then, it'll be too late.

However, ever heard of this phrase: P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens)?

Pray, Kervin, pray. Never lose hope because He knows. (Philippians 4:13)=)

deborah said...

And, bear in mind, it's not too late to unplugged the time bomb and re-adjust the timer. ;)

deborah said...

They say too, when you're at your lowest point in life, when you acknowledge to Him that you're no longer in control of your life, and that you NEED Him desperately - it's the time when He shows how real and powerful He is. For we're not fighting against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces.

So the battle belongs to the Lord.

Jeremy said...

Not to distract you from your prayers or your surrender to the Almighty as suggested by your readers, but while you're doing those, there may be a lesson to be learned here as well -- for all of us:

1. Diversify

One of the oldest cornerstones of investing. Also known under the maxim "Do not put all your eggs in one basket."

2. What sounds too good to be true...

...may well be true. Or maybe not. The typical public listed company pays 20-30% of its net earnings out in dividends. Typically, this is about 3% of the market value of the company. So if you buy RM 1 of shares in a typical company, expect to be paid 3 sen a year in cash (called "dividends"). Some companies, notably cigarette makers, pay out much more than this, but they are the exceptions. It is not realistic to expect much more of a cash return as companies have to reinvest their earnings to stay relevant and competitive. Machines need replacing, distributorships need relocating, etc.

3. Trust is good, auditing is better

Auditing is a process whereby an independent third party goes through a company's books and verifies that its financial reporting gives a fair and true view of affairs. Every public company has to be audited at least once a year and this audit is published in its annual report.

It's regretful what has happened and I believe you've done the right thing by publishing it on your blog for the benefit of your readers. I won't get too depressed though. Money's something that can be earned back, fortunes are things that can be rebuilt. So here's to a future so bright you have to wear sunglasses!

Applegal said...

Whoa, hang in there, sorry to hear that you're in a tough situation. Take care!

Buaya69 said...

the buaya family will be praying for you and your family. Trust in the Lord.

narrowband said...

I truly admire you and your family's perseverence. Hang in there, bro.

fish fish said...

Kervin, thanks for sharing this story of yours with us. Your uncle reminded me on one of my uncle too. I would say he is a "true maggot". Someone who I dun think deserve to be called human.

Please stay strong... for the good days will sure come to your family one day. Believe in that.

Bless you.

Kervin said...

iblogme: yeah its always darkest before dawn, not too bad off, still standing and surviving, will recover in time:) thanks for the support.

deborah: thanks for all the ecnouraging words, still feel a bit down the pits but pushing myself out of it one step at a time.

Jeremy: Yeah, investments are always risky, lucky we didn't put everything in it, that would be suicidal, but a large part was in there. Well I'm young, I've a degree and hopefully with a masters soon, life is still ahead and right too, money can be accumulated again. Family business, never believe them 100%Thanks for the care.

applegal: Hi, sorry for the lack of communique, been tied up with a lot of things lately as you can see. Write to you soon ok :D

buaya69: Buaya and family, thanks a lot, your prayers mean a lot to me, will be strong.

narrowband: Thanks for the well wishes.

fish fish: We have our health, we have each other, we have a roof over our head, food on the table and cash to survive on, I think we are still having the good days albeit less, there are people out there with worst.