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Monday, June 24, 2024


“My mum has a son, who is the black sheep of the family in Malaysia. He got addicted to gambling since Dec 2020. But the way he gambles is much more worse than anybody in the real life I have heard of. He obtained the gambling “funds” via loans from multiple groups of loan sharks to gamble. When he lost the money, he took every single valuable piece in the house and sold it to pay the loan sharks. That’s the first time of him gambling in large amount. It’s covid lockdown time and we never got a chance to go to Malaysia so our house was “emptied” in Dec 2020. Then he continued the same way of gambling, lied to every person (family, relatives, colleagues, clients) to get the money unscrupulously for gambling or paying back to loan sharks.


We have been kind of like a financially below average family. Things got better when I graduated and started working here. My mum and I even had vision of settling down in sg for a better future. Then her son began to ask for significant amount of money on monthly basis since Jul 2021 (when he had tried all possible means of getting money without our knowledge, and my parents forgave what he had done prior to Jul 2021). My parents willingly believe his lies over and over again despite me constantly requesting them to come to their senses. However, it turns out that his “last time” is always more credible than whatever I say. Yes, it is indeed the last time, “last time of the month”. The same show is playing every month: If my mum does not give him the money at the beginning, he would just let the interest of the loans rolls, send harsh messages, make hundreds of calls when my mum is working or sleeping, and curse like a drug addicter.

I advised my mum to ignore her son in Oct 2021 so that he could be independent like any other 29 years old guy and be responsible for the mistakes he has committed. She didn’t. I also suggested to post on the newspapers to publicly cut the ties with their son as this is what the others did to their unrepentent family member who repeatedly borrowed from loan shark, and usually the amount the others could help with before reaching the breaking point is less than RM50,000. My parents did not bear to do so, thinking this may affect him finding a job and walking on the right path. It seems like they will be on debt for millions soon, if they still manage to find any lending source.

My mum is a night shift worker. For a year, she is unable to have adequate sleep, she does not have appetite to eat properly, and yet she works overtime frequently. I really worried about her health, physically, mentally, and pyschologically. She is depressed, far beyond sad, and recently keeps murmuring to herself. She does not sleep at night, sighs till morning. I want to bring her to the counselling centre but she always says she is not in the right mood to go, and she will approach the counsellor once “this time” is resolved. Then “next time” follows within a short time frame. My dad used to work as a freelance construction worker, therefore he has only little savings before retirement (the latter is gone, thanks to his son). He became severely sick in Sep 2020 but recovered, in a weaker state. He has recently returned to work as a cleaner for 6 days per week, to help to pay the debt that keeps increasing sarcastically. Their hopeless son has been jobless since Jan 2022 and his current full-time activity is borrowing money from many groups of loan sharks for online gambling then disturbing our life.

The sad truth is that their spoilt son does not become sensible after such a long time, and probably never will. In Dec 2021, he messaged that he wanted to die at the midnight so my mum bought expensive air tickets (SG >> KL >> JB), did expensive pcr test, went back to withdraw all the bank deposits, the last cash assurance of the family. My parents even knelt down and begged him to stop gambling. One or two weeks later, he started borrowing from loan sharks again. Almost every month he says he wants to die, but he is still alive and bringing troubled life to us. I have blocked all his numbers, but my mum’s phone is vibrating throughout the days and nights. To add on, my mum will pay for his phone bills, so it’s definitely not a problem for him to make countless of overseas phone calls when he fails to reach us via social messaging apps.


Previously, my mum received threatening messages and calls demanding her to pay the debts of her son. Therefore I don’t take unknown calls or read spam messages. I have removed my original social media accounts, I don’t mind if those acquaintances misunderstand I block them. As a genetically defective failure, they may not want to get in touch with me unless they see some values in me. I am useless now. My introverted circle is so tiny that there are only my mum, my dad, and work colleagues (somehow they are in because I have to be a socially functionable individual to earn money, however if they find out my circumstances, they will be so eager to leave the circle without any hesitation).

My aunts found a few refuges (It’s similar to gambling rehab centre) and my mum sent the contact details and addresses for her son so that he could hide for few months. The person-in-charge in the centre is willing to offer shelter and food to him despite him being wanted by loan sharks. He responded arrogantly that he doesn’t want to stay in the centre without freedom and he wants to make a comeback (This term for gambler usually means winning money through gambling when the debt is cleared and loan sharks want to borrow him money again). Not sure if he is too naive or lack of an organ called brain. Some are shocked when they learn that this gambler has already been given a significant amount of money. From this scenario, they should be able to understand one of the Einstein’s quotes: the difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

What should I do to help my pathetic mum? She doesn’t listen when every one says she should let her son settle his own problem. Until NOW she is still thinking of begging people to borrow more to pay for her son’s debt. Moreover, her shameless son told her to apply for loan / property mortgage, sell the house or renounce her PR to withdraw all the cpf. Loan application fails (fortunately), house is being sold (whether it is successful or not remains a mystery as there are too many variables), PR status is still fine (as of now). My mum has borrowed too much from relatives that even selling the house cannot repay all the debts. Rich relatives stay clear of us while 60-70 yo relatives take their retirement sum to help. The thing is, I am uncertain that the money will eventually be used to pay back to the kind relatives or to pay her son’s gambling debt, since my mum is programmed to devote every single cent she has (or she can borrow) to her son. Too many things can happen within few months’ time. I just hope she will make rational choice on the PR status, else our ways will be parted.

My mum, our relatives, my dad and I have given him [A HUGE SUM]. I gave reluctantly as my mum begs me too. The figure will only be getting higher because my parents refuse to give up on their son and keeps begging people to lend them money. They are all being so great but I feel it is like throwing hard-earned money into the sea, which is meaningless. My mum needs to change her traditional mindset that a mother should sacrifice everything for her son. Money always comes so easily for him. A mother is always there to help him pay for everything (gambling debts, penalty, car loan, phone bills, living fee). Mother love is not equivalent to blinded love. She is 60 and should escape this endless miserable loop to enjoy life.

The border has re-opened, people happily travel to Malaysia to reunite with their family or buy cheap commodity. We can’t go back as it’s dangerous to do so and the three of us are already here. People work hard to afford grandiose house, premium cars, and quality life. I work hard – to barely afford the room rent and instant noodles, to worry if the remaining dollars in the wallet can last till the next salary payment date when colleagues head to a cafe instead of a food court during lunch time, to doubt the meaning of life. While the people around us are busy having fantastic moments, achieving their goals, or excelling way ahead, we are stuck in a slump and I wonder if we will ever get out. Good days are always for others to live. There is no light in the end of the tunnel as the path of darkness keeps getting extended.

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