Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gamblings and other problems of life

(Hoarding Emptiness, by Jason Fuller)

Like any other family, there are problems faced by my family. I've discover more when I'm back for CNY this time.

For a start, my dad picked up a new hobby: Gambling. Not that he didn't gamble prior to retirement, just that, now with all the spare time, he is into some pretty serious gambling habit. He boarded a gambling cruise twice a week together with his second sister the week before Chinese New Year. Mom said that the amount of money are in the thousands. A significant sum to our middle-income family.

Both of them quarrelled over this a few times already. And mom says she is fine to separate with dad because she can move into the Buddhist temple to volunteer full time there. I think I inherit the religious habit from mom though we have different religion.

All my dad's six siblings are gamblers. All of them are into mahjong and 4D. His eldest brother is not married. He used to take me to the cinema very often when I was younger. And he sneered at my dad when he saw him crying during the cremation of grandpa's body. Reason is that he hates grandpa because grandpa neglected the family, wasted all 5 goldsmith shops to gambling. Hence my paternal family was in destitute.

My dad's second brother's wife passed away a few years ago and left him with two grown up sons. The first son is not married. I just got to know that the second son's marriage didn't work out. The marriage lasts only about 4 years. He has a 3 year-old son who is now under his ex-wife custody. During the reunion dinner, he remarked that it is good to find a woman who would bear him children yet without marriage. He thinks that marriage is troublesome if it ended in a divorce. They are Christians. Inherited the faith from their maternal family, like Timothy (2 Tim 1.5).

My dad's third brother was into stock-market. During the late 1990s' financial crisis, his wife had to pawn her jewelries for the debts. Both of them are school teachers. Their children are the smartest in the family. The eldest daughter is studying medicine in India while the second daughter is pursuing a law degree in KL.

My dad is the fourth. His eldest son, that's me, trying to pursue something in Singapore. The second son is a technician whose work is already affected by current economy crisis.

My dad's younger brother is into soccer-gambling, mahjong and other kinds of gambling-games. He was a bookie. And he ended up with bad debts. Hence his family was poor since last time. Now their eldest daughter is already working, and their son is in university. So the family is better off a bit now.

The sixth is divorced and currently in a new relationship. His ex-wife used to complain a lot on his gambling habit. His daughter since very young has been staying with her aunt, my dad's eldest sister. And she dislikes her dad and his girlfriend. She is a rebellious 16 year-old teenager who, I just found out, borrowed money from loan-shark to compensate for something she broke in a departmental store.

Before she passed away two years ago, my late grandma said that her greatest regret in life is to see all her children became gamblers. If you are a parent, perhaps you could sympathize with her.

I remember that people come to my grandparents' house to play mahjong. And whichever sons or daughters who were there will join in the game. And perhaps because of that all my uncle and aunts addicted to gambling.

As for myself, I am not into gambling. I have witnessed its horrors in my own family and through my encounters while working in the cruise. Families and individuals' lives are destroyed. In fact not only that, I have experienced the horror myself. When I was still in college, I gambled over soccer matches and incurred a debt of few thousand dollars.

And of course this is just the stories from my paternal family. There are similar and worst stories from my maternal family. Thus sometimes I think it is naive for people to trivialize gambling habits and the social effects of casinos. Hence when I was asked to play the role of a gambler in an upcoming evangelistic drama that unveils the negative effects of gambling, I accepted the role without thinking twice.


rudolf said...

Most Sincere Condolences...

blogpastor said...

I can identify with the problems of having a father who is an incorrigible gambler. It just brings a lot of grief and frustration and loss to the family.

Thanks for your honest sharing.

InSpir3d said...

you have a very powerful personal story... which you can use to positively impact the lives of others...

hope u continue to tell ur story so that others may be well warned of the consequences of gambling

enn@j said...

wow such honesty...and yes, I can understand a family of gamblers, it's rather tragic.

I'm glad you are different, thus standing in the gap for the generations before and after you.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Rudolf, Kenny, Kevin, and Joanne,

Thank you for all your comments. I hope that Singapore's community is ready to face the effects of the two upcoming IR.