Permits & Passes
Monday with the Editor: Different brews
news broke last Thursday that a finance
manager had been remanded in custody on
suspicion of forgery involving S$3
million, I paid scant attention to
when I was flipping through last Friday's
The Straits Times newspaper and chanced
upon a report on the matter, I saw a name
which caught my attention instantly and
sent shivers down my spine.
person suspected to be involved bore the
same name as a schoolmate and an old
friend. I thought to myself that some
people had similar names, that it couldn't
be him, but the age given - 43 - washed
away much of the basis for my disbelief.
when I saw the Frontpage of The Straits
Times's 6 September 2003 issue the next
day, my hopes were dashed - my old
friend's picture was placed next to a
headline "S$30M Scam?".
edition of Streats newspaper would have
you believe he suffers from 'gambling
addiction'. I look back in my memories of
him through the years back to the early
1970's when we were schoolmates at
Victoria School and I just can't find a
trace of anything to help me believe that
he is a compulsive gambler.
am not speaking in defence of an old
friend. I am merely speaking my mind. It
shocks me to hear that an old friend has
made the news in the wrong light. I
remember a few years back, another
schoolmate, a lawyer, had to spend time in
jail for misusing his client's funds.
These are old friends from schooldays. It
is difficult to believe that they could
have done what they were said to have
done. Both held high ideals and were
edition today speaks of a probable S$130
million final total. That is certainly a
mind-boggling sum of money. I don't recall
my friend being greedy at all. To me, he
has always been a simple man, with simple
habits. Unlike me, he did not splurge on
branded goods. He dressed simply and
preferred hawker centres to restaurants.
Could he have changed so much in the space
of the last six years that I had not seen
one can say that both of us were just
plain acquaintances. We and another two
schoolmates used to hang out every weekend
at Plaza Singapura - the in-place in the
1970's. We kept in touch regularly.
When he got married, I drove one of the
cars accompanying the groom to fetch the
bride. And when he joined the foreign bank
where I worked, we refreshed ties
if he is proven guilty of such charges, I
will find it extremely difficult to
stomach the truth. After all, who would
ever want to believe that their old school
chum would have done such a thing.
a good week ahead.
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