Man lent fellow NS friend S$80 in 2002, celebrates after money returned to him 18 years later in 2020

They both have excellent memory.

Jane Zhang | January 19, 02:10 am


Lending money to friends can be easy because you have a good heart.

But getting it back can be troublesome.

So, it should be assumed that money lent is treated as money never seen again.

For one man who lent S$80 to a friend in National Service in 2002, he had long given up hope on being returned the money.

But 18 years later, the borrower made good on his promise to return the money and proactively did so to the lender.

Lent the money back in NS

One Derick Khoo Yew Seng took to Facebook to share his story of how S$80 found its way back to him after 18 years.

Khoo clarified that his post was not meant to disgrace the borrower, but rather because he was “super duper happy for him”.

Khoo wrote that while he was serving National Service in 2002, one of his subordinates approached him to to borrow some money.

Khoo agreed to lend him the money, hoping that the man’s situation would be resolved.

However, after they both completed NS, also known as “ORD-ed”, the borrower still had not returned the money to Khoo.

They lost contact as the borrower subsequently changed his phone number.

Khoo was not too upset about it, as he decided that if he had been willing to lend the money, he should be prepared to lose it.

Reconnected and lost contact a few more times

Some years later, Khoo said he and the man met up and reconnected.

The topic of the loan came up in conversation, and the man reassured him that he had not forgotten and would return the money.

However, the man changed his phone number again and they lost touch once more, before reconnecting on Facebook later on.

Khoo wrote that he would hear about the man from their peers and never gave up on him.

Then, on the night of Friday, Jan. 17, Khoo said that he received a call from an unknown number asking him for his bank account number.

Not knowing who the caller was, Khoo was a bit impatient and assumed it must be a scam.

The man then identified himself and told Khoo that he would definitely return him the money this time.

However, Khoo only believed him halfheartedly, as he had let go of the debt long ago.

After 18 years, returned the money

The next morning, on Saturday, Jan. 18, the borrower sent Khoo a message with a photo of a bank transfer receipt showing that he had indeed paid back the owed S$80.

The photo of the receipt was accompanied with a message, in which the borrower told Khoo that the money had been transferred and asked Khoo to check to make sure it had gone through.

Khoo replied with thanks and remarked about how long it had been, to which the man said that he felt “paiseh”, meaning “embarrassed”, but felt good about clearing the loan.

man returned S$80 derick khoo
Image via Facebook / Derick Khoo Yew Seng.

Khoo was so moved that he wrote in his post: “Tears flow down from my eyes”.

Khoo said it was not the amount that mattered, but rather that the man had indicated a change in behaviour by following through with his promise after so many years.

Wants to respect the other man’s privacy

Khoo encouraged his army friends who might know the individual to not identify him if they came across the post.

But he wrote a message directly to the unnamed man, saying:

“I sincerely hope you read this post and you must try your best as a responsible man to take care of your family and work hard for your life.

You 👍😘 Jia you bro!”

Khoo also stated that he would be donating the returned S$80 in the man’s name, in hopes that the recognition and merit would go back to the man and his family.

You can read the full post here:

Top image via Facebook / Derick Khoo Yew Seng.

About Jane Zhang

Jane may look like a typical millennial, but she's really a bargain-hunting auntie at heart.

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