Monday, February 27, 2012

The Unfortunate Story of Yeo Chong Lin

Today in the news we read the story of Mr Yeo Chong Lin.
Tycoon gives $1 inheritance to each of his children
Sin Chew Daily/ANN
Saturday, Feb 25, 2012
Shipping tycoon Yeo Chong Lin is giving only S$1 (RM2.40) inheritence to each of his four children.

The 77-year-old Singaporean did not leave a single cent to his girlfriend of six years.

Instead, Yeo left his entire 5$45 million fortune to his seven siblings.

He told Lianhe wanbao that he had severed ties with his children.

Yeo, the main shareholders of Yeo Holdings, lost a divorce suit in which he was ordered to pay S$24 million to his ex-wife Nancy Tay last year.


"For the past 60 years, I work so hard everyday, sacrificing myself so that my family get to live a comfortable life.

"I sent my children to study abroad. Not only that they need not work to earn the tuition fees, they could drive new cars around.

"They never appreciate what I've done for them. I don't owe them anything!"

How sad it is that a person who is a multi-millionaire can enter his dying days grudgingly focused on the fact that his children are ungrateful to him, and harbouring enough anger in his heart to retaliate by leaving them $1 each in his inheritance. The act of leaving $1 is perhaps worse than the act of leaving them nothing, because it kind of is an insult to his children that they are worth only $1.

As for his children, how sad it is that they would not bother to visit or to care for their father once they know that their father has left them a large sum of money. It goes to show how their affections for him were predicated on their desire to ensure their receipt of their share of his fortune, rather than any true concern about the well being of their father.

While nobody is really in a position to judge Mr Yeo's decision - for perhaps his children really are heartless individuals who care solely about money and not about him, perhaps this is a warning to Singaporeans that wealth does not bring happiness. The story of Mr Yeo shows that a person can be extremely wealthy and
yet live his twilight years a lonely man without real love from wife and family.

As Singaporeans, let us not lose sight of what is important. Yes, we all need money, but it can only bring us a certain level of material comfort. Beyond meeting our basic needs for food, shelter, transport and entertainment, having more money doesn't make us happier people. Instead, the chase for ever more material wealth can make us more miserable because there is always going to be that bigger house or that faster car or that flashier watch or that exotic holiday that you cannot afford.

On the other hand when we are focused on expensive material items, it detracts from the appreciation of the simpler things in life, unless we make a special effort to do so. And in any case, there are many things that money cannot buy.

Let us as a country focus on the things that matter. Let's stop getting caught up in the endless chase for material wealth and start focusing on the things that matter. That way, we can make this society a better place to live, and die as happier people than Mr Yeo Chong Lin.


Anonymous said...

The richer you are, the longer you can afford to be hooked up to life support.

Anonymous said...

You have it right!

Unfortunately politicans want big pay checks. No one wants to do public service unless there is money. This is one of the biggest failings of LKY.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the rich can draw lessons from YeoChongLin...
like sharing a little of your wealth with the community, such as adopting some children abandoned by their parents or who are orphans.
i am inclined to believe such adopted children would have reciprocated Yeo's love for them, much more than his own children...LOL

Anonymous said...

I think this man wants us to believe his children only wanted him for his money. However I feel there is more to this. Based on his will of leaving $1 instead of just $0, also nothing to his long time girlfriend, this guy was obviously a jerk. While alive he was likely a jerk to his family. That I feel is the true reason why his family didn't visit him.