Published on ST Mar 3, 2012
A businessman suffering from renal failure was saved by a kidney transplant from a friend of his wife’s.
But he found out that his benefactor was actually his wife’s lover – and the father of his young daughter.
In September 2008, he received a tip-off that his wife and his kidney donor were in the businessman’s Chiltern Park apartment in Serangoon Avenue 3.
He went on a rampage that landed him a six-month jail term, a $3,500 fine and a five-year driving ban in 2010. On Friday, the 50-year-old man, who is now suffering from a slew of medical problems, succeeded in his appeal to be spared jail.” Unquote
When I read this piece of news this morning, I felt sad. Yes I know this guy. I know him very well indeed. Actually I know his elder brother Dave. We have been close friends since mid 80s. We still keep in touch.
I do not wish to identify that person. Let’s call him Mr T. There are many brothers and sisters in Dave’s family. I know most of Dave’s siblings. During my younger days, I used to work part time for Dave in his transport company when his driver gone on reservist in-camp training. I applied leave to do that – though it’s against PGO (Police General Orders). Nothing is an offense if you are not caught. We used to drink and party together. Those were the days.
Mr T was actually a handsome fellow. Slim and tall with that killer look from Bollywood. Imagine those actors in Bollywood with typical sharp facial features and beautiful eyes compared to the Chinese having flat nose and plain ruddy face. Mr T is a “Bayi” – modern Singh without turban.
When he was in his 20s, he used to work in the HDB enforcement section. Maybe he was too kind. He always obliged friends or friends’ friends by canceling or waiving summons especially parking offences. He would write all kinds of reasons or excuses to justify the cancellation of summons.
Mr T was happily working in the HDB enforcement section until one day he was called up by uncle Sam – CPIB. They didn’t have sufficient evidence to prosecute him. But he left HDB.
Mr T from the onset was extremely enterprising. Even when he was working in HDB, he was involved in all kinds of side lines. After all, HDB didn’t pay him that well. For example, he used to buy and sell m/cycles. Every Sat, he would advertise in the classified ads selling m/cycles. He would buy low and sell high. Usually, he would have few m/cycles on hand to dispose off. After a small profit, he would continue to source and acquire more bikes. Each transaction, he made a tidy profit.
Mr T was also a self made mechanic. He got no formal certification but could repair and overhaul any m/cycle engine. When he left HDB, he rented a small space in a workshop to start his m/cycle sales and repair servicing. He got by. Managed to eke out a living.
Anyone would be contented with such a set up. However, Mr T was not happy with that sort of income. He was young and ambitious. So he ventured forth.
There was a period of time lasting many years I lost touch and didn’t see Dave. I used to drop by often at his family home in Kallang Bahru Estate near to the swimming pool. Dave and his siblings living in that 3 room flat on the second floor with their aged mother. For that period of time, Dave got married and was in Jakarta doing some textile business with his in-laws.
Dave lost lots of money in the textile business venture in Jakarta he shared with his in-laws. He had no choice but to come back to work as a lorry trailer driver and night security guard at Big Spash, East Coast Parkway.
Dave was happy to be back. His lorry trailer enjoyed free parking at the ECP and at the same time, he had a place to stay as a night guard in Big Splash. He had to make lots of money fast so that he could afford to bring his wife and 3 kids back home.
When Dave called me up after so many years, I was surprised to hear his voice. He lost my hp number. He got me thru my office. I then continued meeting up with him often. We used to drink beer at coffee shop and chatted all night. It’s in one of those visits near to his place at the Hawker Centre near to Mandarin Theatre where I met his brother Mr T again.
Wow! It seemed that Mr T was doing extremely well. He had prospered. I saw him driving a brand new Hyundai sports coupe. Dave told me that car belonged to his brother Mr T when we were at the Hawker Centre drinking beer. Later, we saw Mr T going to his car with his equally sexy slim beautiful wife. She looked exactly like a Bollywood actress with long shoulder hair, sexy and slim figure with those sharp features – pointed nose and high cheekbones! She was a beauty indeed.
I always feel that Punjabi girls are gorgeous! I should have got married to one since I could speak a little Punjabi and understand their culture through my years of association with them. When we saw them, we just said “Hi”. Mr T knows me well. I ever sent my 750cc Honda bike to his workshop for servicing before.
Dave then told me that Mr T just got married. Mr T was working as an Operations Manager for a huge retail chain stores all over the island selling those cheap items. You know those three for a dollar type of chain stores. With his commission – if profits hit more than the target – and salary, he was earning more than 10K a month. Wow! More than 10 times his previous HDB job! What a vast improvement!
Mr T was then living in a nearby resale HDB unit. He bought a condominium waiting for it to be built. Everything seemed nice and rosy. Beautiful wife, sports car and a luxurious condominium. I sure envied him. What a life!
Whilst drinking with Dave, I learnt that with that kind of money, Mr T enjoyed life to excess. He was drunk most of the time. He would go to pubs, nite clubs and party all night long. Hard liquor all the way. He’s a heavy drinker worst than us. We didn’t drink to excess.
The last time I heard about Mr T was at Dave’s brother in law’s funeral. I was there to help. I was the only Chinese amongst Dave’s Punjabi relatives. Dave’s brother in law from Jakarta came to visit him few days back. He suddenly collapsed and died of heart attack. I was helping Dave with the funeral arrangement and sending the body back to Jakarta. I remember some of his relatives commented that I was more than a friend to Dave. I was like his brother! That’s exactly what his Indonesian relatives said.
Mr T was very sick then and could die anytime if he still refused to go for dialysis. He was stubborn. That was just before his kidney transplant. Dave told me that Mr T was shopping for a kidney in India. That was the last time I heard of him. I have not seen Mr T for more than 10 yrs since that moment at the Kallang Hawker Centre with his Hyundai sports coupe.
About 2 yrs back, I heard from Paul about Mr T’s story. I was shocked beyond belief. I read about that news in the papers but I didn’t know it was Mr T.. Paul and myself are also Dave’s close friends. Paul is an Indian married to a Punjabi wife. We all know each other very well since those kumpung days.
For the whole day, I was reflecting on the sad story of Mr T. Incidentally, Mr T was about my age. An year older than me. If he had remained working in HDB earning a decent living would he have ended up in this manner? Could it be the stress that came with mega bucks that led to his heavy drinking and entertainment? You know businesses need entertainment and party.
The same story with me. If I had stayed put and not opted out of investigation in SPF what would I have become? All of my peers in investigation are now at least an Inspector. There was a corporal in Bedok Police Station during my time today is a DSP. Many of my ex-SPF colleagues whenever they bounce onto me commented that I would have been an ASP if I had stayed on.
I might have got my status and rank if I had stayed on. Then what about the trade offs and the ravages of that mad place? I have seen some of them living in perennial self fear. Even their own shadows they fear. They are afraid of allegations of impropriety and misconduct. They are always on the look out just in case. They always think of how to CYA – Cover Your Arse.
They can’t sleep in peace.
I can !
They jump when someone knocks on their door in the middle of the night.
I don’t !
They can’t mix around or associate with persons of “ill repute” such as bookies, pimps or loansharkers.
I welcome them !
Just to illustrate my point. When I was a young constable at Toa Payoh Police Station, a Senior Staff Sgt with only months to retirement and pension was in hysteria mode when a member of public just walked in to the station to hand over a $10 dollar note.
The latter came to return the money which the SSSgt had given cuz he had lost his wallet. He came to lodge a police report and had no money to go home. The kind SSSgt gave the complainant $10 to go home.
The bewildered complainant got a dressing down from the SSSgt that those members of public at the counter would be thinking that he was corrupted and collecting money from him in exchange of favour. That SSSgt insisted that the particulars of that complainant and the surrounding circumstances to be recorded in detail inside the station diary vide the loss/found police report number.
The above example vividly illustrates the kind of life if I had stayed on. Since I was an investigator with some power in the case I handle and influence amongst my peers in the establishment, it would have been worst.
I often came across “special request” from fellow colleagues, some even superior officers whilst conducting my investigation on cases. Tact and diplomacy handling those colleagues or brotherhood in blues without getting into trouble requires a thin fine art of balance.
I just could not tell them off or I would have created enemies within the system. The Chinese saying that even after 10 yrs, one could still seek revenge. I would also fight the constant pressure of not having completely “acceded” to their impossibly possible “special request” by making it appearing nearly possible whilst knowing that I had a job to do and justice need to be meted out in whatever the judicial system deemed fit. That is the kind of paradox I had to struggle with on top of the working “madness” in endless cases and IPs!
Back to Mr T’s sad case. If you were in his position what would you do? Read the ST news again. It’s your wife’s lover and father of your child donating his kidney to save your life! Would you do what he did to that kind donor?
Either way you chose it’s a miserable option! Is it “Karma” or the work of an unjust fate? Look at the poem below to see for yourself how true it is …
It sums up Mr T’s sad life story and maybe ours too!
The Moving Finger writes;
Not all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it!
Edward Fitzgerald (1809 – 1883)