Friday, August 21, 2015

Financial Obligations

I read with interest the article in The Star on why PTPTN defaulters are not paying up. There are several reasons quoted in the said article, but two of them stand out from the rest:

"Everything is so pricey nowadays. To add to that, I am a parent and trying to provide a comfortable life for my child."

"I earn so little and my duty is to my daughter and parents first."

Looking at what's happening in Malaysia today, I'm convinced that those are not lame excuses; I dare say these people are working hard to make ends meet. Leaving aside those people who're jobless, I believe the majority of the working population in Malaysia are not earning well enough to satisfy most of their basic needs, let alone luxuries such as expensive cars or huge houses. I think what we have here is a question of priority.

I happen to know some people—even some of my family members—whom are apparently perpetually "tight up" when it comes to money, regardless of how much they're earning. When speaking to family members, I'm known for my favourite line:

"Kalau periuk nasi semakin besar, maka kerak nasi pun semakin besar juga!"

For those who don't know it yet, I consider myself very good in Malay—both written and spoken.

The Malay phrase above says that when the rice pot gets bigger, then the rice crust will also become bigger too, thus reflecting that when one earns more, his appetite tends to grow. Or his obligations will grow too.

I have on several occasions said to my brother that there is nothing wrong to spend on luxury items. By all means, buy an expensive car if you want to. Heck, buy a few if it makes you happy. Shower your children with modern digital gadgets, and let them live like their parents are rich folks. The only proviso is that just make sure you can really afford those luxuries. And of course if you can't afford all those, then don't spend! It's a very simple policy, really.

Don't owe money from other people when you're a little short, but then when you do get a windfall eventually, instead of paying up your debts, you spend to satisfy your other needs first. If it's your intention that the priority is to provide a comfortable life for your child first; or satisfy your other needs, or to your children, or to your parents first, instead of paying your debts, then bloody hell, don't go looking for PTPTN or friends to get a loan when you're in trouble. When you need help, you want the priority to be given that help. But when it's time to pay up, you don't give the priority that your creditors deserve. What the hell?! 

The money that should have been paid back to PTPTN could be used to help others in desperate need for a loan. If you're not paying your debts, that is like depriving others from getting help from PTPTN.

Don't blame others if they refuse to help you, because you don't deserve their help. The  next time you're in trouble and need help again, don't grumble if you are not given the priority for help. In other words, don't be an asshole!

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